For 2020 the St1 Nordic Group's net sales amounted to EUR 4.9 billion, down EUR 1.7 billion year on year. The decrease in net sales was due to a sharp decline in the world market price of oil in spring 2020 and a slight decrease in the sales volume of service stations.
In other respects, there were no significant changes in sales volumes, except for the sale of aviation fuel to the associated company Aviation Fuelling Services Norway AS, which decreased by approximately 50% due to a drop in air traffic.
”In addition to having had a significant impact on virtually everything in society, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly tested our endurance. As a company, it has made us develop new ways of working together as well as create more robust controls for business conduct. Frequent communication has risen to a key role during the period of remote work. I am truly proud of how our people have been able to adapt to the changing conditions”, said CEO Henrikki Talvitie.
Maintained earnings in Retail and Direct Sales
In 2020, 48% of the Group’s net sales came from Sweden, 25% from Finland, and 27% from Norway. A growing part of our net sales comes from biofuels, equalling almost 19% in 2020. Our operating profit increased to EUR 162.9 million (2019: EUR 150 million). Profit after taxes was EUR 126.8 million, compared to EUR 119.1 million in the previous year.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, refining and wholesale margins were significantly worse than in the previous year, as demand in the oil market declined but remained positive overall. The improvement in refining margin hedges in 2021 and 2022 offset the inventory effect of the decline in oil prices on earnings. Despite fierce price competition and the pandemic situation, the Retail and Direct Sales markets maintained their earnings levels. The year’s result was also positively affected by the sale of our share in the business of our associated company Tuuliwatti Oy in October 2020. Investments totaled EUR 124.7 million, the largest of which went to a biorefinery that is under construction in Gothenburg.