CEO comments

CEO comments

At the end of each year, our cash is counted and our future assessed

For Stena AB, 2023 was a year characterised by challenges and opportunities in a fast-moving and uncertain world. We needed to demonstrate both courage and caution in the development of Stena going forward. 2023 was a tough year for the global economy, but nevertheless, the world’s production and consumption increased, albeit at a slower pace.


In 2023, our diversified business model once again proved resilient in a disruptive global world. Financial performance was strong and liquidity developed positively. The Stena Group is more stable than ever before. Excluding the profit from a ship sale, Stena AB still delivered by and large the same profit in 2023 as in 2022.


“In a turbulent world, we need to understand the severity of the situation and have the ability to be both cautious and brave.”

Dan Sten Olsson. Göteborg. 28 March 2024.


The threats of the future are easy to underestimate

Our strong market positions are the cornerstones in order to generate our profits. Many of our competitors want to grow by taking market shares from us. Stena Line is most vulnerable with regard to its freight customers, of which several have been acquired by competitors or by our ferry competitors, which leads to new priorities.


Our best defence is to have the lowest operating costs. This is a tough challenge. It is not always possible, nor is it sufficient. We must also always have the best customised products and services. We have a corporate culture that is used to this challenge, and I am convinced that we will once again find innovative ways to improve our competitive position and continue to deliver added value to our customers.

Customer proximity coupled with performance creates success

In 2023, Stena Line managed to increase passenger volumes despite the weaker economy, but experienced reduced demand for freight. Our combined freight and passenger vessels are important for optimising our activities. Stena Line’s business relies on continuous new investments in ferries, terminals, IT infrastructure, and ports, which requires larger volumes to maintain profitability.


The markets for ocean transport of oil and chemicals are holding ground. Within Stena Bulk, we achieved the best operating profit ever during the year. Stena Drilling continues to develop its business. In 2024, all drilling units are by and large contracted at levels that can in principle cover their capital costs.


Stena RoRo continues its successful business model with investments in ferries and RoRo vessels and has recently ordered its thirteenth hybrid ferry in the same series, strengthening our market position. All ferries operate on profitable long-term charters to various ferry operators.


Our management company Northern Marine is appreciated for its professional skills, leading to new contracts. Northern Marine currently manages 91 vessels for other shipping companies.


After just three years of focused efforts, Stena Property has delivered on its five-year business improvement plan and achieved a significant value increase. The business is run with low operating costs, thanks to low fixed interest rates, new investments in solar energy and AI technology, among other things. These investments not only contribute to improved net operating income, but also reduce our environmental footprint. Investing in Relationship management is in line with our convictions and the purpose of our Group.


Our companies within Stena Adactum are struggling with reduced demand due to challenges in the consumer market. We have every reason to be pleased that the results not are worse. During the year, several strategic acquisitions were also made, including the Austrian kitchen manufacturer DanKüchen, as an additional acquisition for Ballingslöv.

Care is our guiding principle

By continuously investing in our employees’ personal abilities, we seek to create a working environment in which our employees feel motivated to stay with us and continue to develop both themselves and our company. Curiosity and the capacity for innovative thinking have taken us to where we are now. We are aware that our environment is constantly changing, and it is this awareness that drives us to continuously adapt and improve our methods and ways of working.


As a local player, Stena has a great responsibility for ensuring that our ethics and environmental responsibility are sustainable in the relatively small environments in which we operate. Our investment in methanol contributes to direct use of biomethanol in our ship operations. By investing in wind turbines and solar panels, we continue our efforts within renewable energy. We are very optimistic about the electrification that society is facing.


In ethical terms, when a company expands it is important that everyone is treated equally. Our White Book is our guide that was created more than 30 years ago. This year, the eleventh edition was released. The definition and explanation of the term “care” is the best and most important notion we have developed. When we are guided by care for our fellow human beings (be they customers, colleagues or suppliers), financial results, society, and details we usually act correctly.


Finally, I would like to thank all of you who, in these demanding times, do everything you can to achieve developing and perfect operations. I would also like to thank our customers and everyone who in our parthership contributes to making our services valuable.


Göteborg, 28 March 2024
Dan Sten Olsson

Group Summary


The White Book