The recession in the construction industry slowed Enervent Zehnder’s growth – strong investment in cooling technology

A trend familiar from many industrial sectors was also repeated last year in the business of Porvoo based ventilation technology manufacturer Enervent Zehnder. When the construction of new apartments in Finland slowed down rapidly, it also directly affected the demand for ventilation units. The highlights of last  year were the business in Norway and future-building development projects.

– The beginning of 2023 went really well. The rapid change came in the second half of the year, and the stagnation of housing construction was also visible in our order backlog. In terms of public and office construction sites as well as renovation construction, the situation was better compared to the whole year, says Thomas Söderholm, Managing Director of Enervent Zehnder.

According to him, a similar market development has been seen in Central Europe, where there was a general decline in housing construction last year. It has also affected other Zehnder Group subsidiaries. The group’s turnover decreased by 6% compared to the previous year, but the cash flow was still strong, and the result was around 60 million euro.

Söderholm confirms that a special highlight in the Nordic market has been Norway, where market changes have been smaller and demand has remained steady.

– High electricity and energy costs have made both private and business customers think about their equipment choices in connection with renovations. The technology in Enervent Zehnder’s devices is energy efficient, which has given us an additional competitive advantage in the current situation.

Attention in sustainable development

The product development of Enervent Zehnder’s devices has been done in the company’s own premises from the beginning. In Porvoo, there is also a cold laboratory that performs continuous testing, suitable for the northern climate.

– Last year’s most significant launch was related to mobile technology. In May, we released iSLa, i.e. a mobile application that controls ventilation units. It replaces the separate control panels supplied with the units and at the same time helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste. In addition, the professional version of iSLa enables the commissioning and monitoring of units remotely, which significantly saves the driving kilometres of the maintenance staff.

– The demand for cooling solutions has increased in recent years. Our Svea Cooler, launched last year as a continuation of the HP models, was very well received and the product family will grow soon. We will return to it in more detail in April.

– In addition to novelties, we develop solutions to extend the life cycle of products. A good example of this is automation change packages. They are an efficient way to extend the life of our units and improve energy efficiency at the same time.

Solid support from the Zehnder Group

The Swiss Zehnder Group became the owner of Enervent in 2018.

– Last year, one of our most important projects was the preparation for the introduction of a new enterprise resource planning system and the related changes in production and logistics. It tied up our key personnel resources for the whole year but enables export deliveries to the group’s global sales network. At the same time, it brings efficiency to internal processes and material flows. The implementation will be in April at the same time in Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

– At the same time, the group’s common brand reform has progressed. For its part, it supports making Finnish ventilation units known in new markets. Our external colour world is changing, but manufacturing and product development still remain strong in Finland and Porvoo, emphasizes Söderholm.