Annual Report 2019
Sustainability at Bittium in 2019
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Economic Impact

For Bittium, economic impact means ensuring the long-term profitability of the company´s business. This enables us to create added value for our various stakeholders and the society around us. 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.

Ensuring Added Value for Stakeholders

When it comes to Bittium´s economic impact, the local dimension is the one that matters most. Local added value is generated especially through Bittium´s direct and indirect employment impact. In addition to the local effects, our impact extends via tax payments, dividends and business impacts from the national level all the way to the countries in which we operate around the world.

Bittium operates in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The majority of our 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.

Our 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 – changes that we must take into account already during the product development stage.

We already make use of robotics, for instance, in our financial administration. As robotics and AI become more routine, they will have a greater effect on the development of our operations in the future. This also involves a change in job descriptions; what kinds of specialists we will require and how we will recruit the best talent in thefuture.

Tax Footprint

Taxes are part of Bittium´s business process, and tax management supports the company´s strategy. Bittium operates in five different countries and our business profits and the resulting taxes occur 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. Our tax planning is not aggressive and it is not based on artificial arrangements. It is always based on our actual business needs.

Our tax strategy aims at making sure that we calculate, report and pay our taxes 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 set of values. Accordingly, the quality of our tax processes is an important cornerstone of Bittium´s tax strategy. Our guiding principle is to be open and transparent with the tax authorities in all of the countries in which we operate. For its part, Bittium seeks to influence the development of tax systems to make them clearer, fairer and more consistent.

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


R&D Investments

We operate in a sector that creates products and services for the future through continuous development, innovation and cross-sector cooperation. We play an important role at the leading edge of technological development, and active cooperation with academic researchers increases our 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 2019, we took part in several national projects financed by Business Finland as investors and research partners. On the broader European stage, our cooperation activities included, for instance, the H2020, 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, machine learning and high-quality software development methods.

Our product development investments represented 33.4 percent of our 2019 net sales (34.4 percent in 2018). The investments focused mainly on the development of the tactical communication system and its products targeted to the defense industry, and different authorities´ and special terminal products and their related security software, and medical technology products.