2012 was a very good year for Ferd. It was a year in which we continued to create enduring value and leave clear footprints, which is our vision, and we did this while remaining loyal to our values. We have almost never before created so much value in just one year, but at the same time we are very conscious that much of what we achieved in 2012 is a result of work in previous years, not only last year but also going much further back. I would like to thank our colleagues who contributed to this in recent years, and to those who contributed in earlier years.
It was also a very good year for me personally, and I think it was good timing on my part to move from being the CEO to becoming the Chairman. I was rather pleased with this move.
This small change, which is perhaps not such a small change after all, allowed for six internal promotions for Ferd here at Godthaab. In this way, we demonstrated that while not everyone can be the CEO, there are opportunities for promotion for both our young employees and for those who are part way through their career. This is also the case in our companies. In 2012 we continued to attract some of the best people both in Norway and the rest of the Nordic region, and even internationally, and we were also able to retain many talented people.
We also found a new partner for our investment in Aibel. Our partner is the Swedish company Ratos, an investment company which is similar to us in many ways, and we are very proud to have struck up this partnership
We were also able to demonstrate something in 2012 that is really not so easy to prove as many people think. It is not easy to evidence social results, but a research company has demonstrated that our social entrepreneurs create value for society measured in billions of Norwegian kroner. Perhaps the major value is in the benefits for individuals, but it is also important to show that social entrepreneurs create value for society as a whole, both in benefits and in cost savings.
I was very pleased to say that I am not talking here about just one company or one business area, but it is rather the case that all our business areas and all our companies contributed to a very positive result, which is not easy to achieve for a group that is as diversified as Ferd.
By the time you watch this, 2013 will be well underway, and everyone will be back from their Easter holidays. The year started well for Swix, with many people using Swix ski waxes over Easter. We have also sold a building in Asker, the Aibel building, which produced a very healthy return, and virtually all of our companies are performing well.
We are still looking for skilled people. We currently have a great deal of capital that we want to put to work, but in order to take on new opportunities, make investments and work with partners, we need even better people and more of them.
We hope that you may perhaps be interested in this, and if so ask you to take the initiative to contact us.
Now that you are looking at our new annual report, I hope that when you have finished listening to me you will look through the rest of the report, and I also hope that you browse through our brand new website.
Thank you for listening to me.