The HL Display Company history started when the retail industry deeply changed for a new way of shopping!
During 50's and 60's, self-service stores where the customers could pick whatever they wanted off the shelves themselves were founded.
Supermarkets paved the way for new solutions. The self service created a demand for simple price information systems enabling the customers to see the price of the product - One of the keys for HL Display's development.
In 1954, Harry Lundvall started manufacturing merchandising strips
in bended wire and simple label holders in plastic for price information. The ICA company was one of the first customers.
The biggest retailers, started to expand in Europe and America (Ahold, Carrefour, Auchan, Spar...), with an increasing number of stores and a growing surface (from super to hypermarkets).
In 1975 - The HL Datastrips patent was the breakthrough for
HL Display. The HL Datastrip is the product for which HL Display is maybe best known, and it remains an important part of the product range.
The largest Swedish retail chains recognized the benefits of HL Display's solution, and they soon became major customers.
HL Display's International expansion began at the end of the 80's. Sales abroad had previously been channelled through direct sales and distributors, but now HL Display set up its own sales companies in Belgium and the UK. Sales companies were then set up in Germany in 1989, and in Norway and France in 1990.
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At the turn of the year 92/93 the company completed its first company acquisition, with the purchase of Jegab Display. Since then HL Display has acquired a number of smaller companies, which have strengthened the product range or added expertise within a specific field of production technology.
In 1993, HL Display was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
In 1996, a partnership was set up with Trion Industries as an entry into the American market. International expansion continued in line with the rapid growth of the retail trade. Between the mid- 1990s and 1999 sales companies were established in Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia and Turkey.
In 2000 and 2001 the number of sales companies in Eastern Europe was augmented with new ones in Ukraine, Slovenia and Slovakia. During 2000 HL Display also began to look further to the east, towards Southeast Asia. Many of the company’s customers, such as Carrefour, already had a presence in several major Asian markets. It was therefore natural for HL Display to have its own presence in these markets. The first Asian company was launched in 2000 in Singapore, and it now serves as the hub of HL Display’s activities in the region.
In 2002 and 2003 expansion continued apace in Asia, with new companies being established in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and China.
In 2005, HL Display was awarded the title Public Company of the year by the financial newspaper Dagens Industri and the Swedish Shareholders’ Association.
In 2006, production started up at HL Display’s factory in China, situated in Suzhou, to the northwest of Shanghai. Local production is a very important step to increase competitiveness in the region.
During 2007 HL Display made two acquisitions in Finland; Display Team, a leading supplier of merchandising solutions to brand manufacturers, and Sooni Oy, HL Display’s previous distributor in Finland.
In 2008, HL Display acquired its Bulgarian distributor as well as incorporated sales in Lithuania into the Latvian sales company. The 2007 Annual Report won the Nasdaq OMX’s competition for the best annual report, small-cap company class.
In 2009, the British company PPE Ltd. was acquired, which is
HL Display’s biggest acquisition so far. A sales company was started in Dubai as a first entry into the Middle East market. A regional logistics centre was opened in Hungary.
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In June 2010, Ratos - who previously owned 29 percent of the shares - acquired the founder's (Remius family) shares. Ratos issued a public offer of 49 SEK per share to the remaining shareholders. On September 17, 2010 the share was delisted.
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During second half of 2011, two new Distributor relations were established, one with Kyta Industries for the South African market and one with Brasifil for the Brazilian market.