In 2020 we made the strategic move to expand globally and place a stronger focus on greenhouses and food growers, at the same time we succeeded in strengthening our brand in the cannabis market. This new focus, along with leveraging our existing greenhouse-centric portfolio, will allow us to accelerate progress in this market area. In parallel with this refocused strategy, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to be the industry leader in LED horticulture lighting technology. We continue to develop state-of-the-art technology that will provide growers with full control over their production.
In the first quarter, global market conditions did not improve as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact demand. As a result, we did not achieve our sales targets and closed the quarter with TSEK 9,960 in sales and TSEK 12,535 in orders. Despite a challenging environment, we have strengthened our pipeline of food growers with a focus on mega and large greenhouse installations. We are also obtaining our DLC certification, which is crucial for North American customers who are looking to secure energy rebates. Importantly, this certification will be a catalyst to build relationships with mega and large greenhouse food producers. These efforts will take time and stretch our sales cycle, but they will also positively impact future business results.
Our efforts will be further energized and empowered by introducing two new board members: Bonny Heeren and Ljubo Mrnjavac. Combined, they bring decades of experience in greenhouse sales and international expansion, as well as commercial investment acumen.
In the first quarter, we delivered on our promise to release of helioCORE 2.0 to a subset of customers across the globe. Along with a newly developed interface and exciting new features, helioCORE 2.0 provide customers with access to our dedicated Heliospectra plant and light team of experts, who are able to assist with installation and help them utilize the software to its fullest potential. Throughout these customer interactions, we will receive initial product feedback. Following this, the next phase of the helioCORE 2.0 release will start in Q3.
In parallel with the priorities outlined above, we are working hard to deliver new and innovative horticulture technology. We are currently developing our state-of-the-art biosensor and are excited to announce MSEK 1,75 research grant from Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Authority. In partnership with Chalmers University of Technology, this grant will help accelerate the development of our patented biosensor technology. Ultimately, we expect these efforts to yield two new control modules that will fully integrate with helioCORE 2.0. This will provide growers with full control over their production and allow them to optimize their commercial greenhouses or indoor facilities to meet their specific business objectives. Lastly, we continue to develop the next generation of MITRA with our engineering partners. We are looking forward to seeing these efforts come together and the results that will follow.
While we are confident that we have the right strategic initiative in flight, they will take time to further mature and produce measurable results. Ultimately, they will enable us to grow our pipeline of customers, launch new products and improve financial results. We are looking forward to sharing results as we progress through the year.
I am very pleased to work with shareholders who support our passion for innovation, sustainability, quality and results. As always, I thank you for your steadfast commitment to the Heliospectra vision.
President & CEO
Head of IR
+46 (0)72 536 8116
+46 (0)8 121 576 90