VIKING celebrates 50 years of saving and protecting people at sea

2010 marks the year in which VIKING Life-Saving Equipment can celebrate its 50th anniversary as a world leader in maritime and offshore safety equipment and servicing.

Esbjerg, Denmark, February 1, 2010 – VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is proud to announce the company’s 50th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary of its Chairman of the Board, Mr Tage Sørensen on February 1, 2010. The occasion will be celebrated at the company’s offices around the world, and with a grand reception to be held at VIKING’s headquarters in Esbjerg in Denmark on the day itself.

50 years in business has turned what started as A/S Nordisk Gummibådsfabrik, a small liferaft manufacturer with just a few employees in the Danish town of Esbjerg, into a global leader in an industry of vital importance: maritime and offshore lifesaving equipment enhancing safety of life at sea.

The company’s international expansion was launched with the establishment of the first foreign subsidiary in Rotterdam in 1977. Today, with 52 sales and service facilities and more than 270 certified servicing stations, VIKING is a truly global corporation offering the biggest global safety network to its customers.

VIKING is also the story of the Sørensen family. A family who for generations have made their mark on the town of Esbjerg and its port, and whose Nestor, present active chairman of the board, Tage Sørensen (born in 1915), established what is now known as VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S in 1960. Tage Sørensen grew up with the Scout movement and its ideals: honesty, responsibility, reliability, and respect. The company continues to reflect these values today.

The new millennium has seen a rate of growth that is unprecedented in VIKING’s 50 year history. VIKING now employs some 1,300 employees worldwide and its revenues close in on 150 million Euros, which represents a tripling over the past ten years.

CEO Kjeld Amann, who took the reins in 2000, remarks: "Reaching this anniversary milestone is a true testament to the ideas and values of our founder, to our employees and to the strength of our company’s business concept. Over the years, more than 2,000 people all over the world have worked together to make this company what it is today. We are very proud of our achievements over the last 50 years and happy to continue offering our customers first class safety products and services.”

“Today is a great opportunity for our employees to pause and acknowledge the accomplishments of the past,” he continues. “But it’s also a time to focus on continually improving our operations, our products and our services to ensure a long and bright future for VIKING.”

The company’s and the Chairman’s anniversary will be celebrated in the spirit of what is known as “the VIKING way” with celebrations in all units around the world including a bash at headquarters in Denmark and a special exhibition at the internationally renowned maritime museum in VIKING’s hometown.