2014 was a good year for Haldor Topsoe, both in terms of ﬁnancial performance, continued strong proﬁtability, and solid progress in the company’s research and development pipeline. Signiﬁcant efforts have also been made in expanding our business into new markets by building entirely new capabilities. In 2014, we completed expansions of our production sites in Denmark and USA and we made good progress in establishing production sites in Tianjin, China and in Brazil. These efforts promise well for the future.
Haldor Topsoe’s board, the management team, and the more than 2700 employees around the world have all the reasons to be proud of our results. These results are all the more impressive when one considers 2014’s challenging global business climate, inﬂuenced by geopolitical instability, economic slow-down in some of the world’s key growth regions and – towards the end of the year – a sharp decline in oil prices.
Topsoe has for many years had a signiﬁcant activity in the solid oxide fuel cell ﬁeld through the subsidiary, TOFC. However, during 2014, it was realized that in spite of technical progress, the time to a proﬁtable market situation was signiﬁcantly longer than previously anticipated. It was therefore sadly decided to close TOFC. This resulted in a large one time write-down and had a signiﬁcant, negative impact on the year result.
2014 was my ﬁrst full year as Chairman of the Board of Directors following the passing in 2013 of my father, the company’s founder Dr. Haldor Topsøe, whose vision and legacy remain an important source of inspiration to the entire company. Stepping into his footsteps is a privilege and a great responsibility, and I am excited to continue meeting the challenges that come with this chairmanship. My excellent peers on the Board of Directors have worked diligently with me to review and shape the company’s short- and long-term strategy. We have also made great strides to further strengthen our understanding of how our business operates globally. In December, for example, the entire Board, together with our senior management, travelled to India on a business trip to learn more about this very important emerging market and to explore how our presence in India can be most effectively developed in the future.
The board remains conﬁdent that the growth strategy for the Topsoe group and its execution by the management over the past year provide an excellent basis for a continued, positive development in the coming years. Speaking on behalf of the entire Topsøe family, it is also important for me to underline that we continue to stand unanimously united in our support of the company. We are committed to ensuring that family ownership remains a signiﬁcant, competitive advantage for the company, by standing behind the long-term investment required to harness the full potential of the company’s innovative DNA and unique future business opportunities.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express my appreciation for the leadership shown by our CEO, Bjerne S. Clausen, and his leadership team, and the hard work and dedication of the entire Haldor Topsoe organization.
Chairman of the Board of Directors