Annual review 2020

Our group companies


In 2020, Axel Johnson continued its expansion into the solar industry. Even though solar energy investments slowed during the first COVID wave, we see strong underlying growth in the European solar market, which AxSol’s companies are now expanding on.   


In February, AxSol became a partner in Svea Solar, the market leader in solar solutions for Swedish consumers, followed shortly afterwards by Solkompaniet, the leading Swedish designer and builder of large solar plants for companies, public customers and real estate companies. 

The solar market was also affected by the first corona wave in spring 2020, when households and companies paused investments. That stagnation eased up after the summer and the pandemic’s second wave did not have the same effect. 

“The solar market was also affected by the first corona wave in spring 2020, when households and companies paused investments.”

European expansion

The digital marketplace company Otovo, which connects private individuals with installers, showed rapid growth in Spain and France, and got off to a good start when entering the market in Poland and Italy. On the other hand, sales in domestic markets in Sweden and Norway weakened. 

Svea Solar and Solkompaniet both showed sales growth in the range of 35-40 percent. Svea Solar grew strongly from low levels in the new markets of the Netherlands and Spain. Solkompaniet has continued to grow well and is now working to develop large-scale solar parks.  


During the year’s second half, many customers waited in anticipation for Swedish government tax deductions to encourage private use of solar energy, put in force on January 1, 2021. This was clear when growth in sales to households accelerated immediately in January 2021. This effect underlines the importance of rules of the game for investments being sustainable over time, to avoid the “spasms” we saw in 2020. 

Furthermore, the limit below which commercial properties do not have to pay electricity tax for self-produced electricity has been raised from 255 kW to 500 kW, which will likely lead to more large-scale roof installations built and smaller installations expanded. If Sweden is serious about wanting to promote companies’ investments in sustainable energy production, then a total abolition of the tax, which only exists in a handful of EU states, should be an obvious measure. In August, Johan Bergström took over as CEO of AxSol, focusing on strategy and growth work within existing companies, as well as on new investments going forward. 

The facts

AxSol is the Group’s youngest company, started around the turn of the year 2019/2020, comprising investments in the solar energy sector.

Ownership: 100% in AxSol, ownership interest varies in the portfolio companies Alight, Otovo, Solkompaniet and Svea Solar.

Number of empoyees in AxSol companies: approximately 500

Sales for AxSol companies: SEK 1.2 billion