The mild start to the year reduced earnings from district heat sales, and the cool summer eroded the expected growth in the sale of district cooling energy. Helen launched yet another new service based on renewable energy: renewable district heat aimed at apartment dwellers.
Helen’s results were in line with plans. Turnover totalled EUR 534 million and operating profit stood at EUR 90 million. District heat sales fell by 4% on the previous year to 4,167 GWh. The electricity sales volume grew by 1%, but the turnover of electricity sales fell due to the reduced market price of electricity. The summer was cooler than average, which turned energy sales in district cooling on a downward trend. Sales of district cooling energy fell by 10%. The fall in fuel costs has compensated for the reduction in turnover. Electricity distribution in Helsinki decreased by 1% to 3,179 GWh. The total cost impact to Helen as a result of the cancellation of the Olkiluoto 4 project by Teollisuuden Voima Oyj was approximately EUR 7 million.
Investments in renewable energy and emissions reduction
Helen’s investments totalled EUR 85 million. Pellet combustion equipment was built at the Hanasaari power plant, enabling the combustion of wood pellets mixed with coal with a share of 5–7 per cent. Investments in the cleaning of flue gases and especially in the reduction of nitrogen oxides, worth almost EUR 20 million, were carried out at the Salmisaari and Hanasaari power plants. A new underground substation in Pasila was completed.
Helen reorganised its business structure
Helen reorganised its business structure to correspond with the company’s strategy. With the changes, Helen strengthens its competitive position in the constantly evolving energy markets. The objective is to develop sales and customer experience and that way boost Helen’s market share and customer satisfaction. Concentration of asset management will improve and harmonise the condition management of production plants and the heating and cooling networks. By concentrating the energy sales, Helen seeks to increasingly improve its margin management in the current difficult market environment. The business units are:
• Sales and Customer Services, which is responsible for Helen’s customer business operations, customer services and sales. Marko Riipinen was appointed Senior Vice President of the business unit.
• Production and Distribution, which is responsible for the production of Helen’s power plants and heating plants and for the distribution of both district heat and district cooling. Ari Laine was appointed Senior Vice President of the business unit.
• Energy Procurement and Wholesale, which is responsible for Helen’s energy trade in the wholesale market, Helen’s shares in partly-owned power plants, and long-term development of energy production. Harri Mattila was appointed Senior Vice President of the business unit.
Key events in July–September
• Helen is the first company in Finland to offer district heat customers living in an apartment an opportunity to have an impact on the energy source of district heat. In future, household customers in Helsinki will have an option of having some of their heating produced with renewable energy sources. In addition, Helen pledges to double the volume of purchased renewable district heat in its own production. Media release 8.9.2015
• New underground substation to the expanding district of Pasila. A new underground substation was inaugurated in Ilmalantori. The substation will strengthen electricity distribution in the nearby areas and improve the security of electricity supply. In order to save valuable urban space, the new substation has been built into an underground cavern at a depth of 30 metres. Helen Ltd’s district cooling storage facility is also located in the same network of tunnels beneath Pasila. Media release 1.9.2015
• Rented apartments with district cooling in Helsinki. VVO Group brings district cooling also to rented apartments. 25 Lumo homes in a rental apartment block located in Messeniuksenkatu in Töölö are currently being refurbished to meet today’s standards.
• Suvilahti solar power plant fulfilled expectations. The solar power plant in the Helsinki district of Suvilahti, which was Finland’s largest solar power plant on completion, has met all expectations since it started production last spring. The plant has collected a total of over 200,000 kWh of solar electricity, which is the equivalent of the annual consumption of 100 one-bedroom apartments. The Suvilahti solar power plant increased the total solar electricity output connected to Finland’s grid by over 10 per cent. A solar power plant that is twice as big is under construction in the Kivikko district of Helsinki. Media release 14.9.2015
Helen’s outlook has remained unchanged. Uncertainties in the economy and the energy markets in Europe and Finland continue to have repercussions on Helen’s operations. The low level of market prices, possible new tax burdens and the fuel price trends will pose big challenges. In the longer term, the investment solutions included in Helen’s development programme will also have a significant impact on Helen’s future earnings potential. Helen’s results for the financial period in 2015 are predicted to be at the level estimated before the incorporation, at about EUR 60–80 million.
Helsinki 23 October 2015
HELEN´s KEY FIGURES 1.1.–30.9.2015
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The main part of the business operations of the Helsingin Energia public utility transferred to Helen Ltd on 1 January 2015.
Helen’s interim report includes the parent company Helen Ltd, Helen’s subsidiaries, and shares in associated companies. Helen’s figures are not comparable with those of the Helsingin Energia public utility.