Annual Report 2021
Letter from the CEO
50 years of improving people’s mobility
The year 2021 was another milestone year for Össur as we marked the Company’s 50th anniversary. In today’s ever-changing environment a rich, fifty-year history is something we can truly be proud of. Founded as a domestic clinic by Össur Kristinsson in 1971, Össur’s global journey began to take off in the mid-1990’s with the world’s first silicone prosthetic liner, the Iceross®, and quickly accelerated after the Company went public in 1999. I have been fortunate enough to lead Össur since 1996 and see the Company, and the overall industry transform in many positive ways.
Technical and clinical advancements, comprehensive service offerings, digital solutions, and an increased emphasis on sustainability are all developments that Össur has embraced and are a key focus for our business.
The challenges presented by the global pandemic in 2020 have continued somewhat in 2021 but society as a whole is adjusting to a new normal and we have also adopted new ways of working at Össur. Our employees in manufacturing and distribution have been exceptional in maintaining our product supply, and our sales and customer care teams have done their utmost to meet the varying circumstances of our customers. Not only were we able to continue bringing new products to market, but we also progressed with ongoing research and development projects and added to service offerings that are being well-received by our customers.
Feedback on the newly launched Össur Power Knee™ is very impressive. Prosthetists and end-users alike comment that the stability and powerful motion of the knee lead to transformational outcomes. The energy added by the powered prosthesis helps amputees preserve their valuable energy for other activities.
Innovation remains a key pillar of our strategy and recognition received from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) earlier in the year, confirmed our leadership position. Össur ranks second in the world for top patent applicants in conventional mobility assistive technologies. Össur is also listed among the top applicants in patent filings for advanced prosthetics and exoskeletons.
It was a pleasure to see our Team Össur athletes gather in Tokyo to compete on the world’s stage after years of preparation and hard work. Our Össur athletes won a total of 28 medals and set four new World Records and three Paralympic Records at the Games. Our world-renowned Cheetah® blades remain the prostheses of choice for elite athletes, and we are beaming with pride. It was an extraordinary time for sport and the determination and resilience of athletes rose to new heights.
Another significant milestone reached during our anniversary year is carbon neutrality. We care about the environment and have actively worked on establishing a good overview of the Company’s carbon footprint. In 2021, we proudly became Carbon Neutral for energy and fuel consumption, waste generation, business travel, transportation of goods, and electricity consumption of finished goods suppliers. As part of our larger commitment to sustainability, we are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Action which is one of four SDGs we have chosen to focus on. The others are Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, and Responsible Consumption and Production. Sustainability is a topic of great importance to our employees, customers, and shareholders alike, and we at Össur are committed to actively contributing to a better society for future generations.
Additionally, in 2021 we made an effort to elevate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and actively communicated our desire to celebrate different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds. Our strong company culture and values foster an environment for acceptance and belonging. We also introduced the Össur Give Back Program which offers all employees globally one volunteer day per year to give back to their communities. The program has been extremely well-received and numerous causes and charities have benefitted from the efforts of our employees.
I recently announced my retirement and at the end of Q1 2022, I will be passing the torch to Sveinn Sölvason, Össur’s Chief Financial Officer. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 26 years at Össur, and I am immensely proud of our accomplishments, not to mention the many great colleagues, customers and end-users I have crossed paths with over the years. Össur has grown from being a niche company with USD 5 million in revenue and 40 employees, to a leading global medical device company with annual sales of USD 719 million and around 4,000 employees worldwide. Guided by our values and commitment to improving people’s mobility, we have not only brought life-changing products to market and forged valuable partnerships with our customers, but also contributed positively to the communities we serve. I have no doubt that the strong Össur culture will continue to be the foundation for future success.
It has been an absolute pleasure to lead Össur from being a one product company to a leading global medical device company. There have been countless milestones over the years that have contributed to our growth and market leading position, but our biggest asset is our valuable team of employees around the world. Their passion and dedication to our customers and end-users is exceptional and I am immensely proud to have been part of this winning team.
As we embark on a new chapter in the Össur journey, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our employees, customers, end-users and shareholders for their partnership and collaboration over the years. My very best wishes to all of you.
President and CEO