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The year 2018 was another year of growth for Kamux despite the challenging market situation and we expanded our operations as planned.
Our operating environment was influenced by the discussion around car power sources, Sweden’s emission tax reform concerning new cars and Finland’s vehicle tax reform on new cars based on WLTP emission tests. These created confusion among consumers, which was reflected in car retail in general.
Growth in a challenging market situation
We achieved a revenue of EUR 527.8 million, showing an increase of 16.0 percent from the previous year. Our growth was organic, based on the expansion and opening of showrooms as well as the sales development of like-for-like showrooms. We grew in a challenging market situation, which is a result of the work of each Kamux employee. Our gross profit grew by 20.5 percent and our operating profit was 3.6 percent of revenue.
I am particularly pleased with the growth and profitability development of our operations in Sweden. We achieved a positive operating profit in Sweden for the first time in 2018, demonstrating the success of our systematic development work. Development in Germany was also on the right track: revenue growth continued and relative losses decreased from the previous year. In Finland, our growth accelerated from the previous year.
Our showroom network was expanded further
We continued to expand our showroom network in line with our strategy and opened three showrooms in Finland during the year. Our internationalization also continued as planned: we opened three showrooms in Sweden and two in Germany. New openings during the beginning of the year include Kajaani, Limingantulli in Oulu, Klaukkala in Nurmijärvi, Norrtälje, Karlskrona, Göteborg and Tostedt.
Our international operations’ revenue increased to a total of EUR 132 million.
Strengthening the management continued
As in the previous year, we continued to strengthen the company’s management to support growth and profitability. The country directors of Sweden and Germany started in their positions at the beginning of 2018, and we appointed a new country director in Finland in June. In addition, Kamux’s Management Team gained a Chief Digital Officer, a Chief People Officer and a Director of Business Development. I am confident that Kamux is managed by a team of top professionals, who together with other Kamux employees will lead our company towards the next steps of growth and internationalization.
During the year, we also made strong efforts in training our personnel. In February, we opened Kamux’s own training center, and Kamux’s people developed their competence for a total of 2,070 training days.
Our business is supported by a strong model
I can once again say that our concept and the cornerstones of our business model – professional sourcing and sales, rapid inventory turnover, low fixed costs and integrated service offering – supported our growth.
At the same time, we have the agility to adapt our operations based on the customers’ needs. An example of this is our significant import of alternative-energy powered cars into Finland: in 2018, we imported a total of 703 hybrid, electric and gas cars, which corresponds to approximately 13 percent of all our imported cars. The number of cars we have imported represented a significant share of alternative-energy powered cars available in Finland. I believe that increasing this supply also resulted in new customers for us.
Customer satisfaction is a cause for joy
Kamux wants to be a reliable partner for its customers and strives to offer the best overall service and pricing that is attractive to customers. We also want to be a trendsetter in car sales and a forerunner in the digitalization of the industry.
We continued our diverse digital development work – after all, our customer engagement practically always begins online. In addition to digitalization, we continued our service development, along with increasing transparency, in order to improve the customer experience further.
Towards a year of growth 2019
During the past year, we focused strongly on operational business, after a very busy year of the IPO in 2017. I have been glad to witness the enthusiasm of Kamux employees at work this year as well: our work reflects our passion of being a trendsetter in used car sales.
At the start of 2019, we announced our medium-term financial targets spanning until 2022. In accordance with these targets, we will continue our work towards future growth – our goal is to become the number one retail chain specializing in used car sales in Europe.
CEO, Kamux Corporation