History

History of Blom


Significant Yearly Events

1954

Blom is established by Hydrographer Ole H. Blom

1966

Company is reoorganised as a Limited Company

1986

Company’s name is changed to Blom AS, due to the expansion of the company’s operations to include areas other than surveying

1988

Companys' shares are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker BLO)

1991

Subsidiary Amisehal Blom Co. Ltd is established in Saudi Arabia to perform a contract valued at NOK 100 million with Saudi-Aramco

1992

Bloms signs a contract with the mapping authority of Indonesia valued at NOK 300 million for land surveying

1993

Company acquires 66% of the shares in Fotokart AS, a firm that works in the field of resource and environment mapping

1995

Blom signs a contract with the Mapping Authority of Indonesia valued at NOK 816 million for marine surveying

Company acquires 100% of the shares in Navex AS, a supplier of advanced sensor systems and solutions based on GPS satellite technology

1996

Company acquires the mapping operations of Asplan Viak AS in Bergen, and established Blom Bergen AS

1997

Merger between Blom and the credit information company Creditinform AS

Blom establishes the company Blom Asplan Viak AS in Abu Dhabi in cooperation with Aspan Viak AS

Blom establishes the company InfoWiz AS in cooperation with Telenor Pluss AS

1998

Blom establishes BlomInfo A/S in Denmark to serve Denmark the EU market and Eastern Europe

Blom establishes the company InfoWiz AB in Sweden in cooperation with Metimur AB. InfoWiz AB becomes a subsidiary of InfoWiz AS

1999

Blom establishes Blom Info AB in Sweden through the acquisition of a map production unit and merger with InfoWiz AB

Blom establishes BlomInfo AG in Hildesheim, Germany

Blom sells its 66% ownership stake in the subsidiary Fotokart AS

2000

The business operation of Creditinform AS is sold for NOK 227 million

Blom establishes a new map production unit in Bandung, Indonesia

Blom sells the building and construction operations in Norway, and Blom Oppmåling changes its name to Blom Maritime AS

2001

Blom signs a framework contract with the Norwegian Hydrografic Service for maritime mapping of the Norwegian coastline over a period for 5 years

Blom signs a two-year contract with the Polish State for mapping areas vulnerable to flooding and preventative measures

2002

A decision is made to write down the company’s share capital and raise new capital through a right issue of NOK 10-15 million

Blom signs a one-year contract with the World Bank for boundary mapping in Romania and establishes a local project organisation with 70 employees

Blom concentrates all photogrammetric map production in Bandung, Indonesia, and doubles production capacity

2003

Blom incurs substantial losses for the third year in a row. The results are affected by significant restructuring costs and write downs

In December, Gunnar Hirsti and Dirk Blaauw take over as the new principal shareholders, and seek to practice active ownership. Gunnar Hirsti is elected as Board Chairman, and Dirk Blaauw as the new Managing Director and CEO.

2004

Gunnar Hirsti becomes Chairman of the Board and Dirk Blaauw becomes CEO

Acquisition of four geographic information companies in Finland, Germany, Norway and Romania

2005

Blom acquires three geographic information companies in UK, Sweden and Italy

Blom enters into an exclusive agreement with Pictometry International Corporation for the rights for the Pictometry technology for 23 countries in Europe

2006

Blom acquires a geographic information company operating in Spain and Portugal

A five-year agreement for the use of Pictometry data in Europe is entered into with a major international company

The acquisition of ScanRope, Norway is finalised

2007

Blom aqcuires the Spanish software company Opera Wireless

The Offshore Technology division is demerged from the company and separately listed on Oslo Stock Exchange under the name Scan Subsea ASA

Scan Subsea ASA is acquired by American NYSE listed company Parker Hannifin Corporation

2008

New CEO and Managing Director is appointed, Hakon Jakobsen. Former CEO and MD, Dirk Blaauw, is appointed active Board Chairman

Company is divided into two divisions: Traditional GI and NLS (Navigation & Location Services), which is later changed to Blom Information Services (BIS) and Blom Geo Engineering Services (BGES)

2009

Dirk Blaauw is reinstated as CEO and Board member, Hakon Jacobsen is appointed new COO, and Gunnar Hirsti is reinstated as Board Chairman

2010

Deteoriating financial macro conditions causes reduced demand for Blom's core products

2011

Blom executes cost-cutting to regain profitability and align cost-base

2012

Tom Knoff was appinted new Board Chairman, replacing Gunnar Hirsti. Johnny Andersson and Siv Sandvik are appointed new board members, replacing Hege Skryseth and Dirk Blaauw.

Hexagon AB aqcuires minority stake of 25 % of shares in Blom.

In more detail...

Blom ASA was established in 1954 by Hydrographer Ole H. Blom. In 1988 it was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Since its establishment Blom has been a leading provider of products and services within the maritime and land based mapping industry. Today, Blom is divided into two divisions; Blom Geo Engineering Services and Blom Information Services.

In 2003 Blom went through a major re-organization and restructuring process. The company’s two largest shareholders sold their shares, and the new principal shareholders expressed that they would seek to practice active ownership. A new strategy was implemented to strengthen the company’s financial platform and improve results. As a result of this Gunnar Hirsti was elected as Board Chairman, and Dirk Blaauw was appointed the new Managing Director and CEO. The Board of Directors focused on the commercially feasible parts of the company’s operations, which were to reform the foundation for further growth. At the end of 2003, Blom ASA consisted of BlomInfo A/S in Copenhagen, Denmark and Blom Maritime AS in Stavanger, Norway.

In April 2004 the acquisition of the Finnish company FM Kartta OY was completed. This acquisition was the first transaction in a new strategy designed to establish a European platform for the company aimed at the collection, processing and sales of high technology map data and establishment if map databases. In addition, production units were established in Romania and Indonesia.

The 1st quarter results in 2004 showed the first profit in 19 quarters.

In November 2004 Blom announced the acquisition of Geonet SRL in Romania, a small local operator that owned 49 % of Blom’s low-cost production in Romania. This was a strategically important decision that gave full control over Blom’s production lines. The following December the company acquired the German company Geo-Tec GmbH. This gave Blom access to one of the few fully operational digital production lines in the world.

During 1st quarter 2005 Blom completed the acquisition of the British Simmons Aerofilms Ltd. This was an important step for Blom to establish the company as a leading European provider of services related to the collection and processing of map data.

In its strategy work, the Board of Directors of Blom decided that the company would focus more on products and services with a high technological content. As part of this strategy Blom acquired 100% of the shares in the Swedish company TopEye AB in July 2005. TopEye has unique competence and products for the commercial utilization of laser technology, and is the leading company in the collection of map data through the use of laser technology in helicopters.

In September 2005 Blom entered into an exclusive license agreement with Pictometry® for 23 countries in Europe. Pictometry® is a completely new and unique method for the collection and processing of angular and vertical aerial photographs, a technology that, in our opinion, will have a long-term impact on the geographic information market.

Blom took over 100% of the shares in Compagnia Generale Ripreseaeree (CGR) on 1 November 2005. CGR is the leading Italian company for collecting and processing of map data. CGR owns and operates 10 aircraft and a large range of different sensors. This acquisition was performed to strengthen Blom’s position in Southern Europe, being by now the leading map data information provider in Northern Europe.

In 2005 Blom’s revenues increased 129 per cent compared to the previous year. Blom’s goal of profitable growth was achieved, and the EBITDA totaled NOK 77.6 million. This corresponds to an increase of 167 per cent since 2004.

To pursue the strategy to strengthen Blom’s position in Southern Europe, Blom purchased the Seficart Group during the 1st quarter of 2006. The Seficart Group has a strong position in both Spain and Portugal, and gives Blom access to a market with substantial demand.

In July 2006 the Norwegian cable and mooring systems company ScanRope is aqcuiried by the Blom Group. This strenghtens the Company's Offshore Technology Division.

In June 2007 the Offshore Technology division was demerged from the company and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange as Scan Subsea ASA. In August Scan Subsea ASA was acquired by the American NYSE listed company Parker Hannifin Corporation.

To take a stronger grip on the value chain within geographic information Blom acquired the Spanish software company Opera Wireless in June 2007.

The results and margins in 2007 were record high with operating revenues of NOK 1 077 million and profit before tax of NOK 412 million.

To strenghten the Company's knowledge to, and experience with, the telecom and IT industry, Hakon Jacobsen was appointed new CEO and Managing Director in March 2008. Former CEO and MD, Dirk Blaauw, was appointed active Board Chairman. To further strengthen management, in 2009 Hakon Jacobsen was introduced as COO and Dirk Blaauw reinstated as CEO and Managing Director for the Blom Group. Gunnar Hirsti were reinstated as Board Chairman.

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