History

LSO's stand at the fair in 1922 displayed Finnish export bacon. LSO exported bacon to England in 1921 and 1922, and then several years on the 1930s.

>> Have also a look at "HKScan 100 years"


HKScan is a modern industrial company shaped by many corporate takeovers and mergers. Although greatly transformed through the years, the company can be considered as dating back to Lounais-Suomen Osuusteurastamo (nowadays LSO Osuuskunta), a slaughterhouse cooperative founded by some 20 cattle farmers in 1913.

The company developed and grew in strength in southwestern Finland, where agriculture and cattle farming have traditionally been strong and where large-scale foodstuff production was part of everyday life.

Initially, the company engaged in extensive wholesale operations, beginning to export meat towards the end of the 1910s. The first exports were naturally to Sweden. Later in the 1930s, it exported millions of kilos of bacon to the United Kingdom and, towards the end of the decade, beef to Central Europe.

The former company name, HK Ruokatalo, was introduced at the beginning of 1997. Few months later the company was listed on the Helsinki stock exchange (Nasdaq OMX).

 

There are four expansion phases in the history of HKScan
  • In 1964, 1971 and 1989 it took over other provincial meat cooperatives.

  • In 1981 and 1985 the company was part of a more extensive national reorganisation within the industry, with consumer cooperatives (OTK 1981 and SOK 1985) winding down their meat operations.

  • The third phase was the acquisition of Helsingin Kauppiaat Oy in 1991 and Kariniemi Oy's poultry division in 1993. These strengthened the company's presence in the consumer market and gave it some of the best-known brands in Finland.

  • HK Ruokatalo embarked on an internationalisation process with the acquisition of a majority holding in Estonian-based AS Rakvere Lihakombinaat in summer 1998 and AS Tallegg in 2001 and a minority holding in Sokolów S.A. of Poland in 2002. In 2004 HK Ruokatalo and Danish Crown started a strategic co-operation in Poland and finally in 2006 they had acquired Sokolów's entire share capital. In January 2007 HK Ruokatalo Group went to Sweden by acquiring Scan AB, which is the largest meat company in Sweden. The substantial expansion of the group's international business caused a need to re-name the company from HK Ruokatalo Group to HKScan Corporation. In 2010 became Rose Poultry A/S, the largest poultry company in Denmark, a part of the the group through an acquisition. The group is now active in nine Northern European countries. It is the fifth largest company in meat branch in Europe and it has net sales of more than two billion euros.



Finland's accession to the European Union in 1995 gave rise to some of the most dramatic changes the meat industry has known in post-war history. Operating in what was formerly a closed sector, the industry suddenly had to acclimatise to open competition. Meat prices fell by more than 20 per cent and turnover at the same rate. At HKScan, the predominantly production driven meat industry gave way to the market driven manufacture of consumer goods.