Haugesunds Avis (Arne Frøkedal)
He is running one of the most expansive companies in the region. Omega AS has surpassed 500 employees and 500 million NOK in turnover.
SUCCESS COMPANY: Petter Aalvik, in front of the newly extended office building in Ølensvåg, sees no clouds on the horizon. (Photo: Arne Frøkedal)
Petter Aalvik has a tough job keeping count, as this kind of growth is far from normal. Six years ago, Omega passed 100 employees. Just since the beginning of 2008, 67 more have joined the company. This means Omega currently employs 550 people with 25 different nationalities.
– We do not think we have reached the top yet. Both in Norway and internationally we see great potential, says CEO Petter Aalvik.
The express growth also shows in the annual accounts. Over the past few years, the technology company that has developed their own systems for project management in the energy sector has greatly increased their revenues. In 2004, the corporation had a turnover of 163 million NOK. Last year it had increased to almost 500 million, and this year they are approaching 600 million. All the growth is achieved without acquisitions or marketing.
– Our resources lie in the competence and the network of our employees around the world. Our ambition is not to grow at any cost. It is vital for Omega to be big enough to deliver, but also small enough to care, says the CEO, residing in Sola but hailing from the Ølen area.
Last year's return before taxes was 35.8 million NOK, making it the best year in Omega history. The Omega-employed owners enjoyed share dividends of about 14 million NOK. That also makes it a good year for the boss. Aalvik, CEO of Omega since 2005, has bought shares to make him the third largest shareholder. Thus his company, Ryvarden AS, gets a profit of about 1.5 million NOK in addition to the yearly salary of approximately 1 million.
The 43-year-old Aalvik does not believe that the expansion leads to growing-pains. Quite the opposite, in fact.
– It has given us strong specialist environments within a number of product and service areas, increased product development, better control systems and a skilled and efficient administration. We also try to accommodate our employees' needs. If someone wants to work in Singapore, there is a chance that we can make that happen, Aalvik says.
Omega is well-known for its comprehensive welfare programme. A bonus system where all employees get points every month and extra points for cycling to work, writing for the online magazine etc., is a popular selling point. The points may be used for teambuilding trips, booking the company boat or using one of the 14 properties Omega has acquired on the coast, mountains and Southern Europe.
The high price of oil and large development projects over many years are the reasons for the Ølensvåg company's expansion. The headquarters hold 80 people in the newly expanded and renovated 1400 m², 10 million NOK office building. The company's budget estimate a 20 per cent annual growth rate, and the CEO sees a good future market in the energy sector, also including renewable energy.
– The largest growth will happen in Norway, where our position is already good, but we also foresee growth internationally by recruiting locals to our offices abroad. When they eventually get leadership responsibility and their own regional networks, new markets may open up, Petter Aalvik concludes.