A weakening of the global economic environment could result in deterioration of the market environment and the competitive situation in the industry. More specifically, a material decline or prolonged weakness within the construction industry could result in a significant decline for the new equipment market and a more challenging environment for services. In particular, a sustained market decline in China, which accounts for over 25% of KONE’s sales, could have an adverse effect on KONE’s growth and profitability.
Digitalization, and, as a result, new customer requirements, potential new competition, ecosystems, business models and structural changes in key markets, could have a significant impact on the elevator and escalator industry. Failure to anticipate or address changes in the external market environment could result in a deterioration of KONE’s growth, competitiveness, market share or profitability.
KONE operates in an industry with various local regulatory requirements. Sudden or unforeseen changes in regulations, an increase in geopolitical tensions or a rise in regulatory protectionism could result in more challenging market conditions in affected countries. Such developments could have an adverse impact on KONE’s operations.
A significant portion of KONE’s component suppliers and global supply capacity is located in China, for both the elevator and escalator businesses. Therefore, KONE’s operations may be adversely impacted by changes in trade agreements or by the introduction of trade restrictions.
As one of the leading companies in the industry, KONE has a strong brand and reputation. Issues that impact the company’s reputation or brand could have an effect on KONE’s business and financial performance. Such reputational risks could materialize; for example, in the case of an incident, a major delivery issue or a product quality issue. Matters concerning product integrity or quality could also have an impact on KONE’s financial performance.
KONE operates in certain high growth markets, where focused management of rapid business growth and transformation is required. This applies, in particular, to the availability of skilled personnel, the adequate supply of components and materials, and the ability to ensure the quality of products and services which are delivered. Failure to adequately manage resourcing, quality and the timeliness of delivery, or other critical aspects in projects, could have an adverse impact on KONE’s profitability.
The majority of components used in KONE’s supply chain are sourced from external suppliers, which exposes KONE to component price risk as well as raw material price risk. Therefore, stronger than anticipated increases in prices for raw materials and components may have a significant impact on KONE’s profitability.
Hazard, security and incidental risks
KONE’s business activities are dependent on the uninterrupted operation, quality and reliability of its manufacturing facilities, sourcing channels, operational service solutions and logistics processes. In addition, KONE’s operations extensively utilize information technology and its business is dependent on the quality, integrity and availability of information. Thus, in addition to physical risks, KONE is exposed to cyber security risks, as operational information systems and products may be vulnerable to interruption, loss or manipulation of data, or malfunctions which can result in disruptions in processes and equipment availability and therefore impact KONE’s business. Any breach of sensitive employee or customer data may also result in significant penalties as well as reputational damage. Such cyber incidents could be caused by, including but not limited to, cybercrime, cyber-attacks, computer malware, information theft, fraud, misappropriation, or inadvertent actions from our employees and vendors.
The majority of KONE’s sales are denominated in currencies other than the Euro, which exposes KONE to risks arising from foreign exchange-rate fluctuations. KONE is also exposed to counterparty risks related to financial institutions, through the significant amounts of liquid funds deposited with financial institutions, in the form of financial investments and in derivatives. Additionally, KONE is exposed to risks related to the liquidity and payment schedules of its customers, which may lead to credit losses. Significant changes in local financial or taxation regulation could also have an impact on KONE’s financial performance. For further information on financial risks, please refer to notes 2.4 and 5.3 in the Financial Statements for 2017.
Risks and risk management related to the reporting of non-financial information
The assessment and analysis of KONE’s most significant risks also covers material non-financial risks. In line with the requirements of the Finnish Accounting Act, KONE has identified the most significant non-financial risks regardless of their materiality for KONE as a whole. The typical impact of the non-financial risks materializing would be reputational damage. In addition to the risk mitigation actions described below, KONE aims for transparent and reliable communication in order to prevent reputational risks and to enable proactive management and learning from incidents, should they occur.
Environmental risks related to KONE’s business are overall not very material. The most significant environmental risks are the inability to control the usage of hazardous substances in the supply chain and failure to measure the environmental impact of our solutions during their life-cycle. Environmental risks are managed by conducting internal and external audits and by regularly tracking compliance requirements and our environmental performance.
Social and employee related risks
Safety is a high priority at KONE and potential safety incidents are among the most significant social and employee related risks. Incidents are mitigated through, for example, extensive training, standardized maintenance and installation methods and regular process audits. Major repairs or retrofits in public infrastructure locations may also affect the daily life of many people and therefore, may have a reputational impact. Both safety and quality have a key role in product design, supply, manufacturing, installation and maintenance and they involve strict quality control. KONE also follows globally accepted principles in how to manage potential incidents.
Human rights related risks
The most significant human rights related risks are in the supply and delivery chain and are related to working conditions. All new suppliers must sign KONE’s Supplier Code of Conduct which sets out our ethical business practice requirements, including the standards we require in terms of labor and human rights.
Anti-corruption and bribery related risks
KONE requires its employees and partners to adhere to high ethical standards and to comply with its Code of Conduct, Distributor Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct. These codes cover numerous compliance topics, including competition law, trade sanctions compliance, and labor and human rights issues, as well as prohibiting corruption and bribery. Unethical business practices among KONE’s employees or various stakeholders could cause reputational damage for KONE as well as a possible financial impact. While the risks of such behaviors and practices materializing are included in the scope of KONE’s regular audit programs, the most important actions for internal mitigation is the development of KONE’s corporate culture through training and awareness building.