Billionaire and investor Bjørn Rune Gjelstens can look back on a strong year for investment firm Gjelsten Holding. In 2021, the company made a billion profit for the first time.
We had a very good year, and it was a milestone for us to get close to a billion kroner in the bottom line. In the face of disruption and the pandemic, it’s been a good operating year, Gjelsten tells DN.
Gjelsten, which is involved in everything from sports equipment and interiors to housing development and cancer vaccines, ended up making a pre-tax profit of NOK 1,046 million. A strong increase from 2020 when the company earned NOK 812 million.
In terms of numbers, we’re satisfied, but we’re particularly happy with the foundation we’ve laid for further value creation, he says.
– Especially the fact that we own more than 2,000 acres of commercial property in the Oslo area – this is a decisive factor.
A press release related to Gjelsten’s outcome stated that the company had rejected an offer to buy housing development company Profier. Gjelsten Holding owns 86 percent of Profier.
“At the time of the issuance of the indicative bidding on May 13, 2022, there was a significant amount of market uncertainty regarding the development of bla. Housing prices, increased construction costs and impending rises in interest rates, which were reflected in the bids. The owners at this time chose to end the sale,” the letter states.
– The beginning was that we received an inquiry from an industry, and in this regard we chose to expand. During that process, war broke out in Ukraine, and with the uncertainty and less need to influence interest costs and increasing material costs, it was only natural that a number of those who did take this into consideration, says Gelsten and adds:
– The show was a long way from what we could have imagined mentally, and we actually chose to end the process early.
Earnings increased by NOK 49 million in pre-tax earnings in 2021, compared to NOK 41 million in the previous year.
tough sports market
Gjelsten owns 47 percent of the Sport Holding, which consists of the sports chains 1, Intersport, Anton Sport and Löplabbet, as well as Sportsnett and Milslukern. In addition, Sport Holding purchased clothing and equipment brand Bergans in 2021.
In 2021, the Sport Holding Group generated operating income of NOK 4.9 billion and ended with a profit of NOK 291 million before tax.
Last year was a very good year, especially since Sport 1 was at its best and had very strong numbers, says Gelstein who admits that the market has been worse so far in 2022 with less trade.
He believes 2022 will be more demanding due to delays in the entry of goods, as well as the fact that it was a poor winter with snow in eastern Norway this year.
The year 2021 was exceptional in periods when the volume of business doubled from month to month. 2022 isn’t bad, but it’s more normal.
Do not regret the acquisition
In 2020, it became known that Gelsten and Olaf Niels Sunde have gone out together He paid 873.1 million Norwegian kroner for large portions of assets after Gresvig’s bankruptcy. Gresvig has operated the G-sport, G-Max and Intersport series. While the first was decided to close, the stores were to be redefined to Intersport.
– Is it possible for someone else who is Sports 1 to make money now?
– It’s tough, yes. We built and worked with Sport 1 over a long period of time. Then we hope to be able to work with Intersport and perfect it. It takes some time, but that’s the point.
– Do you regret buying Intersport?
– no we did not. It was a bit intentional. In the entire sports industry, there was an over-establishment towards 2019-2020, I mean. Then we had a normal withdrawal with Gresvig bankruptcy and there is normalization in the market now.
Lost in the vaccine company
Cancer vaccine company Ultimovacs is the only one to lose the Gjelsten group in 2021.
The company has had a rough time on the stock exchange since last fall. During this period, the stock has fallen more than 53 percent, from the price of NOK 162 per share, to the current price of NOK 75.
The investor himself has no good reason for the low price of the company he helped start with Oslo University Hospital and Radium Hospital.
– There is no special reason in the company for the drop in the share price so much. We’ve got a number of answers for studies in 2023, we’re optimistic, and there are a lot of exciting results to come next. We are very long term and want to get involved.
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