There are uncertainties related to the outlook for economic growth in Kesko’s operating countries. A significant weakening in the economy would impact especially the car trade, and the construction market. In the grocery trade, an economic slowdown would shift emphasis in consumer behaviour more towards price.
Critical information falling into the wrong hands
Crimes are increasingly committed through data networks and crime has become more international and professional. A failure in the security of payment transactions and personal data in particular, can cause losses, claims for damages and reputational harm.
Integration of acquisitions in the building and technical trade
There are operational risks related to the ongoing integration of acquisitions carried out in Sweden and Norway.
Market for the car trade
Uncertainty among consumers regarding the motive power choices and resale value of cars, and potential changes in car taxation can weaken the market for the car trade.
Business interruptions and information system failures
The trading sector is characterised by increasingly complicated and long supply chains and a higher dependency on information systems, data communications and external service providers. Disruptions can be caused by hardware failures, software errors or constantly increasing cyber threats. Extended malfunctions in information systems, payment transfers,
or in other parts of the supply chain can cause significant losses in sales and weaken customer satisfaction.
The implementation of strategies and the achievement of objectives require competent and motivated personnel. There is a risk that the trading sector does not attract the most competent people. The acquisitions carried out as well as other significant business and development projects, coupled with an increased need for special competencies, increase the key-person risk and the dependency on individual expertise. In the greater Helsinki region, there are difficulties in obtaining skilled workers for logistics and stores.
A failure in product safety control or supply chain quality assurance could result in financial losses, loss of customer trust and reputation, or, in the worst case, a health hazard to customers.
Compliance with laws and agreements
Changes in legislation and authority regulations could necessitate significant changes and result in additional costs. Compliance with laws and agreements is an important part of Kesko's corporate responsibility. Non-compliance can result in fines, claims for damages and other financial losses, and loss of trust and reputation. The EU General Data Protection
Regulation has placed more importance on the need to protect personal data.
Store sites and properties
With a view to business growth and profitability, good store sites are a key competitive factor. The acquisition of store sites can be delayed by town planning and permit procedures and the availability and pricing of sites. Considerable amounts of capital or lease liabilities are tied up in properties for years. As a result of urbanisation, changes in the market situation,
growing significance of e-commerce, or a chain concept proving inefficient, there is a risk that a store site or a property becomes unprofitable and operations are discontinued while long-term liabilities remain.
Responsible operating practices and reputation management
Various aspects of corporate responsibility, such as ensuring responsibility in the purchasing chain of products, fair and equal treatment of employees, the prevention of corruption, and environmental protection, are increasingly important to customers. Any failures in corporate responsibility would result in negative publicity for Kesko and could cause operational and financial damage. Challenges in Kesko’s corporate responsibility work include communicating responsibility principles to suppliers, retailers and customers, and ensuring responsibility in the product supply chain.
The risks related to climate change are twofold. Risks for Kesko are related to increasing regulation and extreme weather phenomena. Increasing regulation necessitates changes in business operations and leads to additional costs. Increase in extreme weather phenomena can impact product availability and cause disturbances in logistics and the store site network.
The impacts of Kesko’s operations on the climate, in turn, are related to Kesko’s energy solutions and emissions and the lifecycle impact of products and services sold.
Reporting to market
Kesko's objective is to produce and publish reliable and timely information. If any information published by Kesko proved to be incorrect, or communications failed to meet regulations in other respects, it could result in losing investor and other stakeholder trust and in possible sanctions. Significant business arrangements, tight disclosure schedules and dependency on
information systems create challenges for the accuracy of financial information.
Risks of damage
Accidents, natural phenomena and epidemics can cause significant damage to people, property or business. In addition, risks of damage may cause business interruptions that cannot be prevented.
Financial risks are described in note 4.3 in Kesko’s 2019 financial statements.