International growth and focus on R&D

The new decade brought new ideas. Halton's shop furnishings operation in North America continued profitable growth. However, opportunities were seen in new technologies and in recycling business in Finland. For these reasons, the domestic shop furnishings operations were sold in 1985. A new business area, recycling equipment, emerged in 1982.

Probably the most important single factor contributing to the international growth of Halton was the Innovation Centre in Kausala, founded in 1984. A ten million (FIM) investment for a company with an annual turnover of thirty million (FIM) was a real gamble. But it was worth it. The centre convinced customers of the top quality and the performance of Halton's products. As a result, Halton expanded rapidly: sales offices were established in Sweden and USA in 1982, Norway in 1984, Holland in 1985, UK in 1987 and in Denmark in 1988. The year 1989 was a year of great expansion. A French company, Anemotherm, was acquired and a new factory was built in Bethune, the USA operations were expanded in terms of new manufacturing facilities and production in the new Lahti and Heinola factories was started up.

By the end of the decade, Halton's fresh and dynamic approach was noticed around the world within the company's three main fields of industry. Halton received numerous awards, among these the Export Prize awarded by the President of Finland in 1988. Halton's impact on the market grew and Mr. Seppo Halttunen became one of the most respected business leaders in the small and medium-sized industry sector in Finland.