VIKING STANDS STRONG IN CHALLENGING MARKET
A challenging market outlook over the next few years isn’t enough to keep VIKING from setting aggressive growth targets and reorganizing to meet an entirely new level of ambition.
Esbjerg, Denmark, June 22, 2010 – VIKING Life-saving Equipment, the market leader in marine and fire safety equipment, has restructured its production facilities and reorganized customer-facing representation into five regional areas across the globe. The company’s plans are designed to deliver new efficiencies and to support the delivery of what CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen describes as “a new level of customer experience” for our business partners worldwide.
According to Christensen, “A natural consequence of the market dropping is that the environment will become far more competitive. We have chosen to face that situation by aiming for further growth. And the way to get there is to develop even closer relationships with our shipowner customers and to further expand our partnerships around the world.”
VIKING is in a good position to carry out its new strategy. Its new Shipowner Agreement concept - which offers both predictable costs and unprecedented flexibility for marine safety equipment servicing - has been a resounding success with shipowners. Despite the economic crisis, the company has seen continued strong growth in its revenues.
Christensen is confident that the new strategy and its corresponding investments will pay off: “It’s a well-known adage that, in a difficult market where customers typically become more demanding toward their suppliers, companies with strongly competitive offerings stand to win market share. Therefore, as the market leader in our industry, our strategy is to become even more customer-focused and invest in even higher standards of service and support.”
VIKING’s worldwide sales and service apparatus has now been reorganized into 5 regions, one in the US, one in the Far East, two in Europe and one covering the rest of the world. Corporate functions in Denmark will be reorganized to match the new regional sales and service structure. All activities in the Danish town of Bramming, which has up until now housed the company’s PPE activities (personal protective equipment e.g. immersion suits, fire suits, lifejackets etc.), will be moved from Bramming, Denmark to VIKING headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark to promote development and core competencies, while production facilities in Thailand and the US continue to expand. These changes coupled with the acquisition of Quest Enterprises, a US based fire suit manufacturer, gives VIKING the ideal platform to further expand their share of what is already a growth area for VIKING.