The past few years in Mannvit’s operation have been characterised by an unstable external environment, as is of course the case for the majority of companies in Iceland. Unsurprisingly, the collapse of the Icelandic banks in the latter part of 2008 had a significant impact on investments and thereby the project status of engineering firms. The “Kreppa” (economic depression) did not, in fact, have much of an effect on Mannvit until late 2012 due to excellent long-term contracts that extended into 2012. As a result, 2013 was one of the worst years in the company’s 50-year history of operations. We did, however, make use of the year for targeted project development and streamlining in operations. It is safe to say that considerable efforts were spent on advancement in all the company’s markets last year, both in Iceland and overseas. These efforts are now coming to fruition with an increased number of projects, not least overseas. The Icelandic market remains constrained as investments have not picked up. However, we do see improvements as negotiations with investors are currently underway in various fields. The outlook is much better than at the beginning of 2013 and the operating figures for the first few months of 2014 show that conditions differ significantly from what they were at the beginning of last year.
Mannvit has received the award “excellence in corporate governance” for three years in a row. We could ask ourselves whether this matters.
Good corporate governance takes over from where legislation leaves off; they impose greater obligations on the management of companies in various fields and form the basis for trust and transparency in the operation of a company. Trust is one of Mannvit’s core values on which the company’s operations are based. Trust and transparency in operations are necessary for the progress of any company and also apply to relations with shareholders. Important aspects in this respect include the Board’s rules of procedure, the Board’s work schedule and its corporate governance statement which are updated at the beginning of each operating year and are accessible to all shareholders. Clear rules and planning facilitate the work of the Board and make such work more effective. This enables shareholders to gain a clearer picture of Board membership duties.
Good corporate governance does not revolve around rules of procedure and formality.
Mannvit’s Board of Directors view the future with optimism and are certain that the actions taken during the 2013 operating year and that the project development and streamlining we embarked on, will ensure the company excellent returns in 2014.
From left: Pálína Gísladóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Jón Már Halldórsson, Anna Þórunn Björnsdóttir og Gunnar Herbertsson