Annual review 2021

Our group companies

Axel Johnson International

A year focused on transformation, a new business area within industrial automation and acquisitions, ending in record profits of sek 999 million. The result was achieved despite turbulent market conditions with component shortages, transport difficulties and price increases for companies.



The year 2021 was eventful for Axel Johnson International and the group’s 170 companies. Despite challenges with component shortages, price increases and transport difficulties, net sales grew and amounted to SEK 12.9 (11.6) billion, driven by both organic growth and acquisitions. Profit amounted to SEK 999 million, compared with SEK 816 million the previous year. In 2021, a total of 15 companies in 11 countries were acquired. The acquisitions are both new investments and additional acquisitions in existing companies.



During the year, a new sustainability strategy was developed to strengthen efforts in pursuing sustainability transformation in industry. Sustainability is part of Axel Johnson International’s strategic and long-term ownership agenda. To ensure sustainability in all parts of the value chain, the strategy is based on three focus areas: the supplier level, the operations and the customer offering. For each area, there are goals linked to social sustainability, climate and circular materials and products.



The pace of automation in industry remains high. Through the acquisition of Swedish company OCS in December 2018, Axel Johnson International entered the industrial automation segment, and in October 2020, Danish company Caldan Conveyor A/S was acquired. These companies form the basis for the new business area Industrial Automation, which was formed in 2021. The focus for the business area will primarily be on solutions for intralogistics for factories, food processing, primary packaging and automation components.



Axel Johnson International strengthened its presence in Australia and New Zealand through acquisitions of five companies in the Lifting Solutions business area and two additional acquisitions in the Fluid Handling Solutions business area. The expansion into new markets and new market segments continues as part of the group’s renewal strategy and the diversity of segments and regions contributes to stability. Based on a proven strategy and strong business models, the goal is also to continue to grow faster than each market with a balanced combination of organic growth and acquisitions.


Automation makes vertical cultivation possible

OCS Overhead Conveyor Systems, one of the companies within Axel Johnson International’s new business area Industrial Automation, has delivered an automatic transport system to the Swedish vertical cultivation company Ljusgårda’s lettuce cultivation. Ljusgårda’s production, which until then had been managed on a smaller scale of 650 square meters, has been transformed into an automated production system totaling 7000 square meters, with ambitions for continued expansion and growth.

LJUSGÅRDA CONTACTED OCS and requested a solution to handle the transport of 2.5 meter long vertical pipes for lettuce cultivation through various stations and stages in cultivation – from sowing to irrigation, harvesting, sorting, packaging, storage and distribution.

THE SOLUTION FROM OCS was a system with carts that handle 12 pipes at a time throughout the process. Lighting and ventilation are integrated with the conveyor system and irrigation takes place automatically from the pipes above the carts. At maximum capacity, the system holds approximately 300,000 plants which are then distributed to over 800 stores around Sweden every week.

The facts

Axel Johnson International is an industry group that acquires and develops technology- driven industrial companies in strategic niche markets. The group comprises 170 companies in 33 countries.

Ownership: 100%

Business areas: Driveline Solutions, Fluid Handling Solutions/AxFlow, Industrial Automation, Lifting Solutions, Power Transmission Solutions and Transport Solutions

Number of employees: 4,975


KEY RATIOS, MSEK 2021 2020
Net sales 12,938 11,632
ProfitAX 999 816
Profit/loss after net financial items 421 472