Since we were founded in 2020 we have achieved a remarkable increase of almost five times in our turnover. This was made possible through a targeted and effective strategy to welcome new companies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark — as well as organic growth of around 17 percent. Simultaneously, we achieved an EBITDA margin of 9.5 percent.
This is how we intend to keep building the new home for the crafts industry in the future.
Håndverksgruppen believes in a decentralized model and being highly selective when we invite new companies to join our group. For a company to show up on our radar, it must be a well-established winner in its local market. Why? We have great respect for the fact that proximity to local and happy customers and employees must not be impaired as a result of changing ownership and joining Håndverksgruppen.
Instead, companies that join us retain their identity. Their company name, logo and offices remain the same. For us, that’s a way to secure several centuries’ worth of crafts industry history. Including existing companies in this fashion is an important element in value creation for Håndverksgruppen. By welcoming new companies we increase our geographical presence, broaden our range of services—and expand our competence base ten folds.
Many of the companies that enter Håndverksgruppen have missed being part of something bigger. They have lacked a network of colleagues to lean on and learn from. That all changes when they join Håndverksgruppen.
To be able to pull operational levers fast and deep, we have developed an extensive Managing Director toolkit that the companies get access to after joining. The toolkit makes both the transition and day-to-day operation go smoothly. With it, the Managing Directors get access to HR support, Håndverksgruppen Academy, it includes common innovation projects—and support on sales, tenders and pricing.
Welcoming new companies means Håndverksgruppen will increase our geographical presence, broaden our range of services – and expand our competence base ten folds.
The new companies quickly see the benefits of being a part of a region, with hands-on and experienced regional managers facilitating both formal and informal touchpoints. And this is not just something that sounds good on paper: Analysis shows a noticeable increase in EBITDA margins following the network effect from peer-to-peer coaching.
From the very beginning of Håndverksgruppen we have made it a priority to focus on sustainability in every aspect of our operations. We don’t just want to be another company that talks the talk, we want to lead the way in our industry. By supporting the ESG agendas of both the entire Håndverksgruppen group and our individual companies at the same time, we are creating a ripple effect of positive change.
Our local companies have expressed their gratitude for the support they receive. Why? Simply because they’re now able to take bold steps towards a more sustainable future that they may not have been able to achieve on their own.
And that’s not all. We’re creating powerful synergies through our more professionalized approach to both operations and follow-up. We’re not looking to cut corners just to make things easier—we’re actively seeking out ways to extract economies of scale (e.g. purchasing) and streamline our processes.
In other words: We learn from each other’s successes and challenges, and develop even more innovative solutions that benefit everyone involved. Including the environment we operate in.
By supporting the ESG agendas of both the entire Håndverksgruppen group and our individual companies at the same time, we are creating a ripple effect of positive change.
The reason new companies who join Håndverksgruppen immediately see improvement in both top-line revenue and EBITDA margins boils down to the way we operate.
When we share our best practices and our resources, we see that this leads to increased motivation. It also means improved transparency. And of course—stretching as far back as to the original membership organization of the original Håndverksgruppen in 2012—they get to participate in our good purchasing agreements.
Håndverksgruppen’s diversified portfolio of companies also ensures that our group limits our exposure to fluctuations in the new builds market. Put in another way: Despite short-term market challenges, Håndverksgruppen is well-positioned in attractive and more stable markets in the Nordics with good growth prospects. Still, we continue to follow market developments closely and have a clearly defined contingency plan at hand if needed.
The demand for national contracts within the B2B segment is increasing. Also, the need for transparency and control of the supply chain is constantly increasing, and the need for cost control by headquarters with them. The growing appeal of being able to manage numerous services across different regions through a single operator may seem challenging, but it presents a promising opportunity for Håndverksgruppen to strengthen its competitive edge and expand its presence in the industry.
Throughout 2022, multiple national customer agreements in Norway were signed—a source of great joy for our local companies. While that’s great, significant unrealized potential remains to be unlocked. Our ambition for 2025 is to have national agreements account for MNOK 500 in turnover in Norway alone.
We see the same trends in Sweden and Denmark. As our geographical reach is expanding, we believe in a sizable potential going forward.
At Håndverksgruppen, best practices are the backbone of our success. For the most part it includes local competence sharing, but we also have a centralized function supporting our local companies with tools to make operations run smoother. As our journey has only just started, we’re only at the beginning of realizing our best practice opportunities. We believe in a clear margin improvement going forward!
At our very own Håndverksgruppen Academy, we don’t just teach best practices—we infuse them into every aspect of our employees’ education. Here they learn everything from mastering project management to learning about the different disciplines and culture, providing them real tools for success.
One hurdle when it comes to organic growth can be the supply of labor. To reduce this risk, Håndverksgruppen has initiated an extensive recruitment campaign in Norway. In 2022 that resulted in over 30 hires. Similar campaigns for Sweden are well underway for 2023.
That’s right. Since our inception, we have been incorporating one new company every other week on average. Our ambitions for the future are equally high.
And we’re not stopping here. Our experience from entering the Swedish and Danish markets has made us aware of both possible challenges and required preparations
Our plan for the years leading up to 2025 is to strengthen our position in Norway—and significantly increase growth with the Swedes and Danes. To accomplish this we work through the expanding network of existing Håndverksgruppen companies, a wide variety of databases and other sources to find attractive candidates.
The result is a strong pipeline with rock solid companies in all disciplines and areas.
We are currently considering Germany as a very attractive destination for Håndverksgruppen. Conclusions from early dialogues in Germany confirm that we are regarded as «different» compared to our competitors with our decentralized model. That, and the fact that in our group, we have the people and our culture at heart in everything we do.
While it’s about ten times the size of the Norwegian market, the German market shares many similarities with our current geographical countries.
In other words: Germany is a powerhouse packed with potential for Håndverksgruppen!