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Opening doors: Henrik Hjalmarsson, CEO of Inwido

Henrik Hjalmarsson, CEO of window and door manufacturer Inwido, speaks with Acuris Capital Intelligence about the company’s increased focus on accelerated European growth, plans for debt refinancing and the risk for disruptions in global supply chains due to the war in Ukraine. 

Interview by Olof Axelsson 

Q. What is your operational outlook for the remainder of 2022? 

We left 2021 with a strong order book, which has underpinned sales performance in Q1. We are seeing relatively stable market demand in both the consumer and industrial segments. The ways in which material inflation, the war in Ukraine and disruptions in global supply chains may affect demand in the medium term is difficult to predict but, in the long term, we are optimistic about increasing demand for energy-efficient windows and doors to support the transition to a more sustainable and better life indoors.

Q. What strategic objectives have you set to capitalise on markets in 2022 and beyond?

With a strong base via improved margins and better cash flows, we are increasing our focus on accelerated growth for the group. This will be achieved through continued investments for organic growth—for instance in our e-commerce operations—but also through acquisitions of strong window and door companies in Europe.

Q. How does your capital position support these ambitions?

Through improved underlying profitability and good work to reduce our capital employed, we have significantly strengthened our balance sheet in recent years, to a net debt equivalent of 0.6 times operational EBITDA. This means we are well equipped to increase the rate of acquisitions and make important investments for growth.

Q. Can you tell us about your debt refinancing or new debt issuance plans for the year?

At the end of 2021, we extended parts of our loan financing and linked our loans to our progress in terms of ESG. We secured bilateral sustainability-linked loan agreements with Handelsbanken and Svensk Exportkredit totalling SEK1.1 billion, replacing existing facilities of SEK1.2 billion. The new facilities have tenors between five and seven years.

In order to align the sustainability link across all banks participating in Inwido’s long-term funding, the bilateral agreement with Nordea totalling SEK1.85 billion maturing in 2025 has been amended with the corresponding sustainability-linked KPIs. This means we now have stable long-term loan financing linked to progress in our sustainability work.

Q. Would you consider equity placings this year?

An AGM resolution gives us the opportunity to decide on a new share issue corresponding to 10% of the share capital. At present, however, we have a strong balance sheet and good available liquidity, which gives a lot of room for acquisitions in the short term without further additions of capital.

Q. Do you usually work with advisers?

Nordea has acted as a sustainability adviser in connection with our new loan agreements. We usually execute acquisitions as well as financing processes on our own but, depending on our knowledge of the geography in question, as well as the size and scope of the transaction, we sometimes engage external advisers.

Q. What are your personal ambitions as the year progresses?

I am very much looking forward to accelerating our work with value-creating acquisitions in Europe. My driving force is to create an Inwido with strong growth, driven by organic improvements as well as acquisitions, which gives us a broader long-term European base.

A bit of background: Inwido, based in Sweden, is Europe’s leading window group, developing and selling customised window and door solutions through a decentralised structure, with a focus on the consumer-driven market, to create long-term sustainable growth, organically and through acquisitions. Henrik Hjalmarsson has been CEO since 2019, having already been senior vice president, Sweden-Norway, at Inwido since August 2017. Before joining Inwido, he was CEO of Findus Nordic, a role he held for more than three years.