Following my recent semi-annual briefing to employees, I had the pleasure of hosting nearly all ICE employees and several pensioners at a pre-Christmas drinks reception. It was our first such in-person social gathering after the start of the Covid pandemic, and a sign that business hopefully is getting back to normal despite many geopolitical and economic uncertainties in the world.
As usual, the briefing was an opportunity to inform our employees of new and expected contracts, some of which are subject to confidentiality restrictions. Together with ongoing projects from 2022, recent contracts will give us a busy start of the New Year and will require us to hire additional employees.
The last years have been difficult for our industry, and for ICE. Our largest customer delayed an expected contract start-up and later closed its operations when the pandemic struck, and eventually fell into receivership. Other clients suspended two important contracts and delayed expected ones due to sanctions or for other reasons. Travel restrictions made client visits exceedingly difficult. Through cost cutting and sacrifices at all levels, we have nevertheless succeeded in maintaining ICE’s core competencies and we are now ready to rebuild our capacity to take advantage of upcoming business opportunities.
I thank our employees for their loyalty and dedication, and I am hugely grateful to our customers and other friends for their continued support and belief in ICE. We are still facing challenges, but I am convinced we will have better times ahead. I wish everyone a peaceful, safe and Happy New Year!
Chairman & Chief Executive