Report on operations 2021
The Helen Group consists of the parent company Helen Ltd and the subsidiaries Helen Electricity Network Ltd, Oy Mankala Ab, Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy, Tuulipuisto Lakiakangas 3 Oy, and Kristinestad Tupaneva Oy. The Group’s associated companies are Voimapiha Oy, Suomen Merituuli Oy, Liikennevirta Oy, Böle Vindkraft Ab/Oy, Pjelax Vindkraft Ab/Oy, Kristinestad-Tjöck Vindpark Ab, &charge GmbH, and Think Outside AS.
Helen Ltd offers its customers electricity, district heat and district cooling, as well as diverse services for small-scale energy production, customers’ own energy use and improving its efficiency. Energy is generated in power plants located in Helsinki, as well as in other production plants and through power assets owned by the company. Helen Ltd is owned by the City of Helsinki.
Helen Electricity Network Ltd (100%) focuses on electricity network operations by virtue of the Electricity Market Act. It also offers its customers electricity transmission and distribution services in almost all districts of Helsinki. The business operations of the network company account for about 10 per cent of the Helen Group’s net turnover.
Oy Mankala Ab (100%) is a production company that owns the Mankala, Ahvenkoski, Klåsarö and Ediskoski hydropower plants located on the River Kymijoki. Oy Mankala Ab owns 8.1 per cent of Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, 16.1 per cent of Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy and 50 per cent of Suomen Merituuli Oy.
Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy (90%) serves the energy, water management telecommunications networks. The City of Helsinki owns 10 per cent of Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy.
The wind farm Tuulipuisto Lakiakangas 3 (60%) was completed in Ostrobothnia in partnership with project developer CPC Finland. Energy generated by the new wind farm is available to Helen’s customers from the beginning of 2022.
The electricity transmission company established by Helen and CPC Finland, Kristinestad Tupaneva Oy (60%), is responsible for transmitting the electricity generated by the wind farm into the national grid.
Financial year 2021
During 2021, Helen progressed in accordance with its strategy by making significant investments in both carbon-neutral energy production in Helsinki and in separate electricity production by wind power. Helen also implemented other targets according to its strategy as the energy transition gathered pace and turned into reality in the challenging market situation.
Helen took key decisions on accelerating carbon-neutral energy production in Helsinki. As a result of the decisions to close the Hanasaari power plant and end production by 1 April 2023 at the latest and to close the Salmisaari coal-fired power plant by 1 April 2024 at the latest, Helen will end the use of coal five years earlier than planned. The decision to end the use of coal also supports the target of Helen’s owner, the City of Helsinki, to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The financial period was characterised by sharp price increases in the commodity market in the electricity sector, as well as by the rapid variations in prices. This was reflected especially in the form of a strong rise in the price of fuels and emission allowances during the period. The price of natural gas procured for Helen increased seven-fold, and the price of emission allowances almost trebled, with coal prices doubling over the year. The area price of the electricity market grew significantly at the end of the year, culminating in record high prices in December.
The rising prices of gas as a result of the concerns over sufficient gas supplies, with the price of coal following suit, had a substantial impact on the higher electricity prices in Europe. The rapidly increased prices of emission allowances also pushed up the costs of fossil energy production. In the Nordic countries, the price levels were also impacted by the fairly poor hydrological year, although the water supply situation improved slightly at the end of the year. The wholesale market prices of electricity in the previous year were at a historically low level, and therefore the change was significant.
The volume of wind power production in early autumn was at a low level in Europe, which increased the need for electricity generation based on fossil fuels in Europe. The increase of fossil electricity generation pushed up the demand for emission allowances, as a result of which their prices increased. At the same time, the tightening climate targets in the EU resulted in a reduction in the provision of emission allowances.
The higher prices of emission allowances and fuel costs and the increase in excise duty at the turn of the year were seen in the price trend of district heat. The change was significant due to the particularly low price level in 2020. The energy fees of district heat were increased for November-December 2021 by 29.9 per cent year on year. However, the price increase did not fully meet the increase in costs. In November, price increases of a total of 15 per cent year on year for the next three price periods were published exceptionally in advance. The expectation is that the pressure to increase prices by the summer period 2022 will be levelled off.
In the electricity retail market, Helen continued its growth in the domestic and small business customer sector. In the same way as in the previous year, the customer numbers for the year grew by more than 50,000 customers and the number of contracts now exceeded 600,000. The total number of users of Helen’s digital service channel, Oma Helen, grew to 180,000 at the end of the year.
Helen also continued to grow in the area of new solutions where the business operations expanded in the solar business along with contracts drawn up with enterprises and housing companies. Helen’s electric vehicle charging network grew to more than 200 charging points. E-mobility services were developed to serve especially the needs of enterprises.
Helen Ventures continued investment activities for growth companies in the energy sector. During its second year of operations, Helen Ventures invested in four growth companies: the Norwegian company Think Outside working with hydropower, the German LiveEo utilising satellite images in the monitoring of infrastructure, the Austrian Enspired that uses algorithms in electricity trading, as well as &charge that develops e-mobility software for customer engagement.
Group’s profit trend
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the production and distribution of electricity, heat and cooling have been operating well. The Helen Group’s net turnover showed strong growth, but the result for last year was considerably below that of the previous year. The trend in net turnover was affected especially by the record-high market prices of electricity at the end of the year, which significantly pushed up the net turnover of electricity. Operating profit was depressed by the highly increased price levels of energy procurement and emission allowances. This was to the advantage of the electricity wholesale market business while, on the other hand, the retail market business made a loss when Helen procured expensive electricity to meet the higher customer demand at the end of the year. Consumer demand of electricity grew especially during the cold December, when also the electricity prices rose sharply. The profitability of district heat business fell due to the exceptional situation. Helen was unable to fully transfer the increased costs to the prices.
Consolidated net turnover in 2021 totalled EUR 1,318 million (EUR 1,054 million in 2020), with operating profit amounting to EUR 82 million (EUR 176 million). Electricity sales volume was 5,478 (6,027) GWh, down by 9 per cent. District heat sales stood at 6,885 (5,833) GWh, up by 18 per cent on the previous year. The sale of district cooling energy grew by 18 per cent to 203 GWh (172 GWh). Electricity distribution in Helsinki increased by 7 per cent to 4,473 GWh (4,178 GWh).
The net turnover of Helen Electricity Network Ltd grew by 5 per cent and operating profit was up by 14 per cent. The net turnover and operating profit of Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy were at the previous year’s level.
Group and parent company: Key figures 2021
|Net sales, EUR mill.||1318||1054||1198||942|
|Operating profit, EUR mill.||82||176||23||133|
|Operating profit, % of net sales||6||17||2||14|
|Profit before appropriations, EUR mill.||67||154||39||154|
|Investments, EUR mill.||295||204||207||145|
|Return on equity (ROE), %||3||7||2||7|
|Employees as of 31 December||1015||993||923||907|
|Total equity and liabilities,
Balanse sheet, EUR. mill
Equity ratio, % =
100 * own funds / balance sheet total
Own funds = balance sheet equity + voluntary provisions + depreciation difference deducted by tax liability
Return on investment (ROI), % =
100 * (profit before appropriations + financing costs) / average capital invested
Capital invested = balance sheet total – interest-bearing debt
The Helen Group has moved to a strong investment phase in accordance with its strategy. Helen invests significantly in the fixed assets of the Group companies and as holdings in several separate companies in energy production. The Group’s investments in fixed assets totalled EUR 236 million. The parent company’s investments amounted to EUR 174 million, of which the share of the Vuosaari bioenergy heating plant was EUR 113 million and that of the district heating and district cooling networks EUR 38 million.
The value of the investments in the electricity network stood at EUR 22 million. The investments of Tunneliverkko and Mankala were both EUR 2 million. Wind power investments in Tuulipuisto Lakiakangas 3 Oy amounted to EUR 35 million and in Kristinestad Tupaneva Oy EUR 2 million. Other investment areas were mainly new services and solutions.
Helen’s most significant individual investment, the Vuosaari bioenergy heating plant, progressed well under the circumstances and according to the budget. The investment plays a key role in enabling the phasing out of energy use of coal, due to which any risks related to the project as a result of COVID-19 and the lack of components are under particular scrutiny. The commissioning of the heating plant is scheduled for December 2022.
The construction of the Mustikkamaa cavern heat storage facility faced technical challenges during the year, and its commissioning was postponed to spring 2022.
The sixth heat pump for Katri Vala was taken into production use as planned. The heat pump achieved higher production outputs than planned. The excavation to expand the facility in the worksite of the seventh heat pump in Katri Vala was started. The heat pump works at Vuosaari were finalised and the commissioning will be adjusted to the energy market situation.
The worksite of the heat well of the Ruskeasuo geothermal pilot heating plant was established and drilling was started. Due to the wintry weather conditions, however, the drilling had to be suspended.
All turbines of the Lakiakangas 3 wind farm were erected and the entire electricity generation capacity will be available during the early part of 2022. An electricity storage facility is under construction in connection with the power plant. The construction of the three wind farms of Suomen Hyötytuuli is progressing according to schedule.
At the end of 2021, the cumulative CO2 emissions of Helen’s energy procurement were 2.6 per cent higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year. Due to the cold weather in the early part of the year and in December, the produced energy volumes grew by 7 per cent. However, the specific emissions for the year were about 1.4 per cent lower than in 2020 because of the increase in Helen’s low-emission production.
The total amount of energy procurement in 2021 was up by about 7 per cent on the previous year. Heat procurement grew by some 17 per cent. Heat pump production almost doubled year on year, and the volume of pellets used was about three times as high as in the previous year.
Due to the high price of natural gas, the amount of gas used during the whole year was about 22 per cent less than in the previous year. This was seen especially during the latter part of the year in the form of higher emissions when the consumption of oil and coal was considerably higher than in the previous year.
The emissions trend is a downward one which, in addition to the weather, is significantly impacted by the investments already made in carbon-neutral production. The implementation of the investment programme will take several years. Helen’s estimated specific emissions for 2025 are about 65g/kWh.
5-year trend in total emissions and specific emissions:
The Helen Group’s financial position is strong and its liquidity is good. At the end of the financial period, the Group’s equity ratio was 68 per cent and interest-bearing debts stood at EUR 592 million. The Group’s cash assets and investments totalled EUR 413 million.
In order to safeguard quick ratio, the amount of cash assets, short-term investments and available limits are kept at a sufficient level. The Helen Group is included in the consolidated account of the City of Helsinki, and the subsidiaries’ member accounts have a credit limit. The parent company has a commercial paper programme of EUR 100 million, which had not been used by the turn of the year.
The Group’s financial and investment policy directs the capital structure, the acquisition of long-term debt, hedging against financial risks, investment of cash assets, management of working capital, and the management of liquidity of the parent company and the subsidiaries.
The objective of financial management is to ensure the Group’s sufficient liquidity, management of financial risks, centralised management of financial and investment activities, minimisation of net financial costs, and to enable measures and investments according to the Helen Group’s strategy. The Group complies with a low risk profile in its financial and investment activities, and this objective can be achieved through managed risk-taking so that any losses are limited and the continuity of operations is not jeopardised.
The Helen Group’s equity ratio is kept at a level that enables the availability of external capital in a flexible way and at a reasonable cost. Interest rate risk is managed with interest rate hedging and currency risk with currency hedging within the limits of the financial and investment policy. Interest rate, currency and commodity derivatives are only used for hedging purposes. Refinancing risk is managed with time diversification, and counterparty risk in financing is managed with diversification of lenders. Counterparty risk of investments is managed with a credit rating requirement in terms of direct investments, with diversification of investments in terms of investment funds, and by setting a limit for the share of investment in the market value of the fund.
The interest-bearing debt of Helen Ltd consists of a subordinated loan of EUR 157 million from the owner, a so-called senior debt of EUR 170 million from the owner, and loans from financial institutions at EUR 200 million. In addition to the parent company, at the end of the financial period, Helen Electricity Network Ltd had EUR 3 million and Lakiakangas 3 Oy EUR 62 million of external debt.
In order to strengthen its financial position, Helen Ltd signed two long-term loan agreements of a total of EUR 200 million in December 2021. The maturity of the loans is 5 and 7 years, and they were taken out in full in by the end of the financial period.
The registered, fully paid share capital of Helen Ltd totals EUR 600 million. The total number of shares is 1,000, and all shares are owned by the City of Helsinki.
Key events during the financial period 2021
The energy market and carbon neutrality
- Helenwill phase out the use of coal more than five years ahead of schedule. The closing of the Salmisaari coal-fired power plant by 1 April 2024 is a significant climate deed on a Finnish scale.
- Helsinki will close the Hanasaari power plant in 2023, when also the coal store will be removed.
- The construction of the geothermal heating plant in Ruskeasuo in Helsinki started in September.
- The wind farm Tuulipuisto Lakiakangas 3 is being built in partnership with customers. The wind farm will be in full production in Q1/2022.
- Helen decided on a new wind power investment to be built as a joint venture with Fortum. With the new investment, Helen will triple its wind power production.
Customer solutions and services
- More predictable district heat prices for customers – Helen launched Fixed-Priced District Heat as a new product.
- Carbon-neutral district heat from the waste heat of data centres: The waste heat of Telia’s data centre will be used for heating homes in Helsinki from summer 2022.
- Veritas will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions with the aid of Helen’s recycled heat and emission-free cooling. .
- Significant cooperation agreements were signed in e-mobility: Helen’s
charging services can now be used at Hesburger restaurants, at Teboil Pirkanhovi, at the charging points of the City of Espoo, and at Citycon’s shopping centres. In addition, Helen initiated cooperation with GreenMobility.
Helen Ltd had 923 (907) employees at the end of the year. The number of permanent employees was 871 (850) and fixed-term employees 52 (57). The average number of employees was 938 (905). The average age of the employees was 45.1 (45.5) and the average length of employment was 13.9 (14.9) years. Wages and salaries in 2021 totalled EUR 58.2 million (EUR 53.7 million).
Helen Electricity Network Ltd had 92 (86) employees at the end of the year. The number of permanent employees was 87 (82) and fixed-term employees 5 (4). The average number of employees was 89 (88). The average age of the employees was 45.7 (45.8) and the average length of employment was 15.0 (14.9) years. Wages and salaries in 2021 totalled EUR 6.0 (5.9) million. The other subsidiaries did not have any employees at the end of 2021.
Research and development
Helen carries out research and development activities on a wide scale in different business units, with subject matters including, e.g. carbon neutral energy production, new business opportunities, and digital capabilities that enable business operations.
There are several projects around the theme of carbon neutrality. Helen collaborates in a study on the utilisation of small-scale nuclear power in district heating. The two-year EcoSMR project (Finnish Ecosystem for Small Modular Reactors), funded by Business Finland, brings together Finnish actors to develop business activities around the possibilities offered by small modular reactors. Helen also implemented a preliminary study and a Master’s thesis on small modular reactors.
Helen is also studying the utilisation of seawater heat in year-round district heat production. The environmental impact assessment procedure (EIA) is underway. The seawater temperature in open sea intake points was measured throughout the winter of 2021, and the measuring will continue in winter 2022. The utilisation of heat contained in the phase transition in the freezing of water in district heat production is also studied.
In terms of the utilisation of waste heat in Kilpilahti, the feasibility of the project is being investigated, and contract negotiations for heat supplies were carried on. The programme phase of the environmental impact assessment process is ongoing.
Helen is implementing Helsinki’s first geothermal heating plant in Ruskeasuo. The medium-deep heat well is used as a test site for new technology. At the same time, a 3D seismic reflection study, which is unique in the urban conditions in Finland, and the use of artificial intelligence in the analysis of the study results, are being prepared. Geothermal heat is seen as a possible replacement for part of the coal use in Salmisaari.
From the viewpoint of new business opportunities, Helen is studying the possibilities of enabling a carbon-neutral and carbon-negative society. The possibilities of a hydrogen economy combined with the utilisation of carbon dioxide is one of the main themes of new business opportunities. Helen is involved in the BECCU and eFuels Co-Innovation projects of Business Finland, studying the possibilities of power-to-X technologies where transport fuels or high-grade end products in the chemical industry are produced with carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Helen has also launched cooperation with the Norwegian company Horisont Energi to investigate carbon capture and utilisation.
In addition to the above, active subjects include, e.g. flexible energy systems, digital twins, biocoal, data and AI platforms, and emission compensation. Helen’s operations are directed by Science-Based Targets (SBT).
Internal control and risk management
The target of risk management is to ensure the security of energy supply and the safeguarding of and increasing the value of the Group in the long term. For Helen, risk management means a systematic and predictive way of identifying, analysing and managing uncertainties related to its activities. Comprehensive risk management is a business-oriented, systematic and harmonious procedure that directs decision-making and operations throughout the company.
The company management is responsible for ensuring that the company has effective risk management and internal control with respect to the extent and contents of its finances and operations. The company has estimated the key risks and uncertainties in terms of the scope and structure of operations, as well as other factors having an impact on operational development. Internal control and risk management have been organised by including risk management thinking as part of all operations.
The Helen Group’s risk management is directed at the top level by Helen’s risk management policy. The risk management policy of energy trade is subordinate to Helen’s risk management policy. The operating principles of internal control and risk management are complied with in energy trade. The risk management policy of energy trade defines the risk management of Helen’s energy trade, as well as the operating model for energy trade, the risk limits of energy trade, and the sale of district heat, district cooling and electricity to end users.
A significant factor of uncertainty in the long-term development of business operations is the operating environment where the control mechanisms, targets and schedule are constantly changing as a result of political decision-making. In this kind of situation, the long-term planning of investments related to carbon-neutral energy production is challenging, however, the target is clear.
Key business risks are closely related to the strong fluctuation in the electricity market and the increasingly weak predictability. In addition, competition in the electricity retail market is intensifying. The price fluctuations in the power exchange result in business risks in the wholesale and end-user sales and electricity procurement. The Group is preparing for risks by hedging procurement and sales with derivatives. In the procurement of fuels, the key risks are volume risk and price risk. These risks are managed, e,g, with procurement and derivative contracts. The level and capabilities of cyber security are assessed and developed constantly.
Significant operational risks can result in a fault in production plants or networks and the suspension of production. This will give rise to additional costs in energy procurement and possible disruptions in energy distribution. Operational risks at the plants are managed, e.g. with predictive maintenance of equipment and networks, condition monitoring, and training of personnel.
During the financial year, significant risks were materialised in the operating environment of Helen’s business operations, and these had an impact on the profitability of the past financial year and on expected returns in the future. In the political operating environment, the most significant risk that materialised was the decision of the European Commission to cut the emission allowances of the so-called free allocation for 2021–2025. According to the decision, Helen will receive 16 per cent fewer emission allowances for the period in question in comparison to the Commission’s preliminary free allocation decision. As a result of the sharply risen prices in the energy commodity market, the pricing risk in the district heat business was materialised. Helen was unable to set a cost-reflective price for district heat during the year because the changes would have incurred unreasonable price increases for the customer prices of district heat. The schedules of Helen’s key investments have been subject to a fairly high risk due to COVID-19-related illness and the global challenges in component deliveries.
The employee pension insurance and group life insurance are with Keva. Other insurance policies are divided between four different insurance companies, covering damage to property, business interruption, liability damage, personal injury, and vehicle damage. The extent of the insurance policies and the excess levels are set separately for each company in accordance with the companies’ risk tolerance.
Responsibility and interest representation
Helen aims for carbon neutrality in 2030. The majority of Helen’s emissions come from coal use, and Helen has decided to phase out the use of coal five years ahead of schedule, by 1 April 2024 at the latest. The Hanasaari power plant that uses coal will be closed on 1 April 2023 and the use of coal at the Salmisaari power plant will end by 1 April 2024 at the latest. The phasing out of coal use at the plants is a significant climate deed on a Finnish scale. Helen will transition to distributed heat production where heat is produced, captured and stored in several places with no emissions, in a renewable and secure way. In electricity generation, Helen focuses especially on wind power, in which it has made significant investments over the past year. All energy production of Helen Ltd is covered by the EU emissions trading scheme.
Helen is the first Finnish energy company to commit to a science-based emissions reduction target (SBT). Helen has reduced the Scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emissions and set itself an emissions target of 60g/kWh for 2030, corresponding to 1.5 degrees according to SBT. The target is currently being approved by the SBT organisation.
In addition to climate and the environment, Helen’s operations also have an impact on people. Helen aims to communicate openly about its activities with its stakeholders and to know their views and expectations. Every few years, Helen implements an extensive stakeholder dialogue on how the company’s responsibility work is meeting the expectations and views of the employees and stakeholders. The topics and discussions of the stakeholder dialogue provide valuable information about the themes that should be studied in responsibility work. In the 2021 survey, new dimensions were added to the topics of previous years, which raised an active debate and were regarded as the most significant themes of responsibility work, i.e. emissions reduction, renewable energy, and security of supply. In future, Helen’s stakeholders want to see Helen implement concrete measures also in the areas of responsible management, stakeholder cooperation, investigation of the origin of energy and sustainability, subcontracting chains, and biodiversity. These themes were used as a basis of the materiality analysis, building a new responsibility programme for 2022–2024.
During the year, three webinars open to all stakeholders were held, with the topics including compensation as part of carbon neutrality, the rise of energy produced with non-combustion from the margin into the mainstream, and the future role of nuclear power in heat and power generation.
In 2021, municipal elections were held, in connection of which we created municipal election pages on Helen’s website. The pages presented especially the municipal election themes focusing on Helen’s journey to carbon neutrality and charted the views of voters and candidates with the aid of the municipal election game. After the elections, we presented Helen’s most significant projects to the new councillors by meeting the City Council groups of different parties.
Helen’s electricity generation and the production and distribution of heating and cooling are certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard on environmental management systems. All operations of Helen Ltd and Helen Electricity Network Ltd have certified occupational health and safety principles complying with the ISO 45001 standard. In other respects, the operating system complies with the asset management standard ISO 55001, which is not, however, certified.
Helen wants to emphasise the importance of sustainability in its products and services throughout their life cycle, and the company has introduced for all purchases the Supplier Code of Conduct, to which all Helen’s suppliers must be committed. The Code of Conduct is monitored with surveys and audits.
The 2021 annual general meeting of Helen Ltd was held on 25 March 2021. On 26 March 2020, KPMG Oy Ab was selected as the auditor (principal auditor Esa Kalliala, KHT auditor) for a two-year term.
Board of Directors
The annual general meeting of 25 March 2021 re-elected the following members to the Board of Directors: Osmo Soininvaara, Wille Rydman, Marko Karvinen, Hillevi Mannonen, Timo Piekkari, Sirpa Puhakka, Daniel Sazonov, Pirja Heiskanen, and Sallamaari Muhonen. Osmo Soininvaara was re-elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Wille Rydman as Vice Chairman.
The shareholder decided on 30 August 2021 on changes in the members of the Board of Directors and decided to confirm that the number of members of the Board of Directors is eight. Starting form 1 September for the rest of the term, Tiina Rytky was elected as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors to replace Wille Rydman, and Atte Kaleva and Mai Kivelä were elected to replace Sallamaari Muhonen, Sirpa Puhakka and Daniel Sazonov who resigned from the Board of Directors.
In 2021, the Board of Directors convened 15 times, 7 of which were held as remote meetings and 3 by email. The attendance rate of the Board members in the meetings of the Board of Directors was 99.2 per cent.
The Board committees include the audit committee and the nomination and remuneration committee. The committees help the Board in carrying out its duties.
Members of the audit committee were Hillevi Mannonen as Chairman and Pirja Heiskanen and Sirpa Puhakka as members. On 27 October 2021, the Board of Directors elected Marko Karvinen to replace Sirpa Puhakka, who resigned from the Board of Directors and the committee, for the rest of the term. The meetings of the committee are regularly attended by the CFO and the Vice President, General Counsel as the secretary of the committee, as well as the auditor and other experts invited by the committee at any given time. The audit committee convened eight times during 2021.
Members of the nomination and remuneration committee were Osmo Soininvaara as Chairman and Wille Rydman and Timo Piekkari as members. On 27 October 2021, the Board of Directors elected Tiina Rytky to replace Wille Rydman, who resigned from the Board of Directors and the committee, for the rest of the term. The meetings of the committee are regularly attended by the CEO and Senior Vice President, Human Resources, as the secretary of the committee. The personnel and rewards committee convened three times during 2021.
President and CEO
Juha-Pekka Weckström, M.Sc. (Tech.), has acted as President and CEO. During the financial period, a total of EUR 484,853 (EUR 483,483) was paid as salaries, fees and bonuses to the members of the company’s Board of Directors and to the President and CEO.
Events after the financial period
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has resulted in geopolitical instability, which will have impacts on the European energy system. Helen has a diverse heat production portfolio, and fuels have also been stored. It is crucial from our company’s point of view to safeguard energy management in all situations. For this reason, our company is seeking more diverse fuel procurement channels than at present. In addition, we have already previously communicated about our plans for accelerated transition to a distributed energy production system where the company’s dependence on imported energy will be reduced.
The Board of Directors’ proposal for measures concerning the profit for the financial period
The distributable equity of the parent company Helen Ltd stands at EUR 1,282,636,363.36, of which the profit for previous financial years amounts to EU 4,215,578.41 and the profit for the financial year is EUR 27,248,391.50.
The Board of Directors proposes to the annual general meeting that a dividend of EUR 19,000.00 per share shall be paid, i.e. a total of EUR 19,000.00, and that EUR 12,463,969.91, shall be held as retained earnings. The Board of Directors proposes that the distribution of dividend shall take place on 29 April 2022. The liquidity of the company is good, and the Board of Directors takes the view that the profit distribution will not jeopardise the company's liquidity.
Last year was another significant one along Helen’s steadfast journey towards carbon neutrality. The decisions to close the Salmisaari coal-fired power plant and the Hanasaari power plant mean that the production will change towards renewable, emission-free and distributed energy production with an accelerated schedule.
In 2022, investments in carbon-neutral electricity and heat production will materialise. The share of co-generation in electricity production will be reduced when Salmisaari and Hanasaari are removed from production, and the focus of electricity production will shift to separate production. The main production forms in separate production are wind, hydro and nuclear power. From January 2022, all 20 wind turbines of the Lakiakangs 3 wind farm will be in production use. The construction of the two joint wind farms of Helen and Fortum in Närpiö and the Kristiinankaupunki region is making progress, as is the Kalistaneva wind farm in Kurikka, a joint project of Helen and the Ålandsbanken Wind Power Fund. The Vuosaari bioenergy heating plant will be completed for the heating period 2022–2023. The bioenergy heating plant will meet demand flexibility as far as possible also in view of future solutions.
Helen continues to invest in large-scale recycling of energy with heat pumps, with also projects for the storage of heat under plan. When implemented, the change in the tax category of heat pumps will promote carbon neutral investments, which is a precondition for many significant future investments. Helen continues the planning of major heat pump projects, seawater heat pumps and the utilisation of waste heat in Kilpilahti. Moving on to the design phase with respect to either one will be studied during 2022. Helen is also actively studying the utilisation of geothermal heat. Small modular reactors seem very interesting as a longer-term alternative from the economic and technical point of view.
Helen’s vision is to be the most customer-focused energy company in the market. In order to reach this target, there are several ongoing projects to improve the customer experience. The vision aiming for customer-orientation requires focusing on digital customer encounters and the digitalisation of the solution business.
Helen’s net turnover grew strongly amidst the changing market prices, but the result for the past year from the financial point of view was weaker than in the year before. Challenging market conditions and price fluctuations will continue to accelerate. This will further undermine the predictability of the energy markets. The situation of the electricity retail market will remain challenging in the changing market conditions. It can be said that the risks in the energy industry have generally increased, and they will still increase further. Helen’s profitability will be undermined further by the high costs of emission allowance and fuels in 2022.