Annual Report 2020
Sustainability at Bittium in 2020
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Economic Impact

For Bittium, economic impact means ensuring the long-term profitability of the company´s business. This creates added value for various stakeholders and the surrounding society. Profitable operations create economic benefits for shareholders, employees, partners, subcontractors, distributors, customers, municipalities and the state.

Legal compliance is the basic premise of economic responsibility. However, in many respects, Bittium´s sustainability and impact exceed the legal requirements.

Creating Added Value for Stakeholders

With respect to Bittium´s economic impact, the local dimension is what matters most. Local added value is generated especially through Bittium´s direct and indirect employment impact. On a larger scale, Bittium´s impact extends via tax payments, dividends and business impacts into the operating countries around ther world.

Bittium is present in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The majority of employees work in Finland, more than half of them in the city of Oulu.

Ensuring added value means securing long-term growth and financial stability, comprehensive risk management and a long-term commitment to the development of society and local communities. In addition to financial risks, risk management must take into consideration other risks related to the valuation of the company, such as reputational risks.

Bittium´s business must respond to the changes in the operating environment to maintain profitability and future competitiveness. The technological transformation and the resulting technology solutions create both opportunities and threats for the company — changes that must be taken into account already during the product development stage.

Stakeholders and Economic Impact in 2020 and Share Price Average

Tax Footprint

Taxes are part of Bittium´s business process, and tax management supports the company´s strategy. Bittium is present in five countries and its business profits and the resulting taxes are generated locally.

Bittium´s tax strategy is to support business decisions and ensure their proper execution also from the perspective of taxes. Tax planning supports business efficiency and productivity, creating added value for shareholders and ensuring regulatory compliance. Bittium´s tax planning is not aggressive and it is always based on actual business needs, instead of artificial arrangements.

Bittium´s tax strategy aims at making sure that taxes are calculated, reported and paid correctly to the authorities, conforming to the established regulations. Bittium is committed to complying with the laws of our operating countries as well as lower-level regulations, such as the OECD transfer pricing guidelines. Good corporate citizenship is part of Bittium´s values. Accordingly, the quality of tax processes is an important cornerstone of Bittium´s tax strategy. The guiding principle is to be open and transparent with the tax authorities in all the countries in which the company is present.

In Finland, Bittium works in close cooperation with the Large Taxpayers´ Office of the Finnish Tax Administration.

Tax Footprint 2020

R&D Investments

Bittium operates in a sector that creates products and services for the future through continuous development, innovations and cross-sector cooperation. The company plays an important role at the leading edge of technological development, and active cooperation with academic researchers increases understanding of significant new technologies and promotes the digitalization of society. Bittium has a close and long-established cooperation relationship with the University of Oulu.

In 2020, Bittium took part in several national projects financed by Business Finland as investors and research partners. On the broader European stage, the company´s cooperation activities included, for instance, ITEA and EIT cooperation projects. The focus areas of these cooperation projects included technologies that are critical for Bittium´s future product and service business, such as communications solutions for the public authorities based on LTE and 5G technologies, information security in products and future factories, AI, machine learning and high-quality software development methods.

In 2020, product development investments represented 29.1 percent of net sales (2019: 33.4%, 2018: 34.4%). The investments focused mainly on the development of products related to the tactical communications system targeted to the defense industry; the development of various devices and special terminal products for the authorities, including related security software; and the development of medical technology products.