From humble beginnings in Borås in the early 1970s to a globally leading player today. Although our journey has been quick and vast, every step of the journey has been taken both with reflection and a clear goal in mind: to become the best branding and labelling company worldwide.
At its origin, Nilorn was a design agency founded by Claes-Göran Nilsson in Borås in the early 1970s. The company’s activities developed to also be responsible for the production of its labels, which was outsourced to manufacturers in Europe.
Nilorn saw the opportunity to streamline the production of its labels and to expand. The first manufacturing company, Boras Etikettväveri, was acquired and soon after further companies in Sweden and Menda in Denmark were also acquired. At the end of the decade, the Svenska Bandfabriken, Bohus Textilkonst and Nordisk Heliotextil were acquired.
To ensure its international expansion, a new share issue was directed to external funders in 1990. The same year Nilorn acquired the largest textile printers, K Björn Eriksen in Denmark, and in 1992 Bally Labels in Switzerland.
Shamrock-Ruga in Belgium and Dalle Caen in France were acquired in 1995. In 1998 Arko label in Germany was added and Nilörngruppen AB was listed on the Stockholm Exchange. In 1999 the UK’s leading label manufacturer, H. H. Calmon & Co. Ltd. was acquired, which also had operations in Portugal, Hong Kong, India and the Dominican Republic. The same year Nilorn bought 20 percent of the German label manufacturer, Gustav König label.
Design and logistics
Belgium’s largest label manufacturer, Nominette, was acquired in 2001. The same year Nilorn East Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong was established.
In 2004 Claes-Göran Nilsson, the founder of Nilörngruppen, resigned as Chairman and relinquished all his other assignments for the Group. Nilorn changed its strategy from being a label manufacturer to be a company with a greater focus on design and efficient logistics solutions. Partnership agreements were signed with production units in China, Bangladesh, India, Turkey and Tunisia.
In 2005 the Swedish production unit for woven labels, Borås Etikettväveri, was closed and production was partially moved to Nilorn’s production site in Portugal.
In 2006, the restructuring of production operations continued with the manufacture of woven labels moved from England and Germany, mainly to Nilorn Portugal.
In 2007 the Belgian production of woven labels was closed. Former partner, Hazer Etiket in Turkey was acquired and renamed to Nilorn Turkey.
In 2008 own-production in Nilorn Turkey is discontinued to concentrate its operations on purchasing and sales.
In 2009 Claes af Wetterstedt was appointed as President and CEO of the Group. Traction, which had been a shareholder since 2005, increased its holding to 65 percent of the shares and Nilörngruppen AB was delisted on June 30 from the Stockholm Stock Exchange. A new board of Directors was elected, except Petter Stillström who became chairman.
Increased focus on sustainability
In 2010 Nilorn established subsidiaries in Bangladesh and China (Shanghai). The logistics in Europe became more efficient through the establishment of a central warehouse for the German and Belgian operations.
In 2012 Nilorn AB moved its stock from Sweden to the central warehouse in Germany to streamline operations. Nilorn started production of Care Labels (textile printing) in Hong Kong. This was also the first year that all the operating companies within the Group were profitable.
In 2014 Nilorn Pakistan Ltd was established and production of both woven and printed labels increased in Portugal. A sales office was established in Italy.
In 2015 the decision to start-up production in Bangladesh was taken. Nilörngruppen AB’s shares were listed on NASDAQ OMX First North Premier.
Nilorn HQ moves to a new office.
In 2017 Nilorn presented its first sustainability report ‘More fit for the future’. The same year, the newly built factory in Bangladesh, the Nilorn Dhaka factory, opens.
In 2018 Nilörngruppen AB changes its listing to Nasdaq OMX Small Cap. Investments are made in new looms at the Portugal plant.
The Nilorn Design Department creates the ‘Designers Checklist’. It is to be used as a tool in new product developments.
In 2019 solar panels were installed at Nilorn Portugal’s factory in the pursuit of more sustainable energy use. During this year, a new office in England is completed and Nilorn UK moves into its new premises.