CleanR Grupa closes 2023 with steady growth

29 Feb 2024

CleanR Grupa, a group comprising Latvia’s leading environmental services companies, closes its first year after reorganization with strong financial growth —the group’s turnover has increased by 48%, reaching EUR 101 million, while investments in the provision of the group’s services and development of the environmental services sector amounted to EUR 8 million, according to the group’s unaudited results for the twelve months of 2023.

The CleanR Grupa earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization or EBITDA reached EUR 19.7 million—a 77% increase, compared to 2022. The value of the group’s assets in 2023 reached EUR 91 million, which is an increase of 13% from 2022, while the group has also maintained a strong equity position of 51%.

“These results contain a strong message to our partners, the bondholder community all over the Baltics, our employees, as well as the country’s economy. At the same time, they allow us to invest in educational activities on environmental issues and the country’s circular economy goals. For instance, last year, the group’s company CleanR used its own money to modernize the waste collection infrastructure in Riga by installing underground waste containers, now available in 34 residential yards around the city. Also, we have made our passenger vehicle fleet much greener—electricity-powered cars now accounting for 42%, and digitized processes across the group’s companies to improve our customer service and decrease resource consumption,” states Juris Gulbis, Chairman of the Board of CleanR Grupa.

Gulbis also added that, in the waste management segment, the group has taken a leadership role in introducing circular economy solutions in Latvia, contributing to the Green Deal aims, improving sorted waste collection infrastructure, and engaging in recycling. For instance, last year, to get ready for the introduction of the extended producer responsibility scheme for textile producers entering into force on 1 July this year, the group’s companies invested in the expansion of the textile sorting infrastructure.

“An important contribution to the Latvian waste management sector was the opening of the CleanR plastics recycling plant in the first quarter of 2023. Also, we expanded the company’s geographical presence in Latgale, as well as the Ropaži and Ķekava municipalities of the Pierīga region” tells Gulbis.

Last year was the first year for CleanR Grupa under the new—diversified—group structure and the corporate governance model. In January last year, we set up several subsidiary companies, which before had been business functions of CleanR.  We created Vizii Urban, an urban services company, and CleanR Verso, an industrial and construction waste management business. Also, it was the second full year of operation for Vizii, a commercial premises cleaning company.

At the same time, 2023 was the first year for CleanR Grupa as a member of the Baltic capital market—the bonds listed on the Nasdaq Riga First North market at the end of 2022 expanded the group’s range of stakeholders to include bondholders from all three Baltic states. The raised funds of EUR 15 million were used to develop the environmental services business, including carrying out of M&A deals. In 2023, the group acquired KOM Auto, a Cēsis-based urban services company, signed a deal on acquiring RSC Noma, a construction waste management company, as well as secured a majority stake in the extended producer responsibility provider Zaļā josta.

“The transformation of the specialized functions into full-fledged subsidiary companies has encouraged strong and dynamic growth through agile management and a precise business focus. With a primary focus on the two of our core business lines—waste management and environmental services—we have managed to build our business muscles in both segments, gained experience, and taken a leadership role,” emphasizes Gulbis.

The aim of the reorganization have been achieved—we have stepped up the capacity of the newly-established subsidiary companies and improved our corporate governance model by capitalizing on the wealth of experience accumulated by CleanR over the years.  While maintaining their group identity and pursuing common goals, each of the group companies continued to provide their clients with a wide range of services, including both their specialized services and services provided by the group.

Generally, the group’s development strategy for 2023 focused on several areas—efficiency and productivity, workplace safety and employee wellbeing, digitization of the customer service, corporate governance, and sustainability.

To further digitize our customer service, the group invested in MANAI VIDEI, a single omni-channel customer self-service platform, which is available both as a digital portal and a mobile app.  Also, in the segment of commercial cleaning, the group’s subsidiary Vizii has introduced the first mobile quality control app, a digital communication and customer service tool allowing the staff of Riga East Clinical University Hospital to evaluate the quality of the cleaning services digitally.

CleanR Grupa employs over 1600 people. It is essential to take care of them on a daily basis by providing a growth-enhancing work environment where everyone feels empowered and can realize their full potential. By focusing on increasing workplace safety, last year we ran an internal workplace safety campaign, engaging our employees in both workplace risk assessment and prevention.

 By expanding the CleanR Grupa Council and Board, we strengthened our corporate governance model, following the best international practice and ensuring openness and transparency in relationships with all the stakeholders.

“At CleanR Grupa, we pursue sustainable corporate governance. The group leads the way in the environmental services industry in Latvia by having introduced non-financial reporting and achieved a Platinum status in the country’s Sustainability Index, the only one of the kind in Latvia, yet the pursuit of sustainable business governance never stops,” states Gulbis.

According to Gulbis, CleanR Grupa already operates as a zero-waste business in its own operations; an aim to be pursued also by the country’s economic and environmental policies. “The group will continue to introduce circular solutions in its operations and promote a circular lifestyle in society,” adds Gulbis.

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