Helen Group’s interim report January–March 2016

Helen continued to make strong investments in the development of new energy solutions and customer-oriented services. The company made preparations for the commissioning of Finland’s largest solar power plant and the largest electricity storage facility in the Nordic countries. Pellet combustion was launched at the Hanasaari power plant in the early part of the year.

– The change in the energy sector creates good opportunities for new kinds of business operations. We will continue to develop new products and services and our own operations to ensure that Helen will be a forerunner among energy companies, playing a vital role in energy innovation also in the future, says Managing Director Pekka Manninen.

The Helen Group is a group of companies formed of the parent company Helen Ltd and the subsidiaries Helen Sähköverkko Oy, Oy Mankala Ab, Suomen Energia-Urakointi Oy and Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy. Its associated companies are Voimapiha Oy and Suomen Merituuli Oy. The figures presented in brackets refer to the reference period, i.e. the corresponding period in the previous year.

January–March 2016

  • The Group’s results for the first quarter were as planned. Turnover stood at EUR 262 million (EUR 260 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR 56 million (EUR 86 million). The reduced market price of electricity and increased fuel costs had a significant impact on the fall in the operating profit.
  • Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 65 million (EUR 128 million).
  • Cold January increased heat sales in the early part of the year by 17% on the previous year. Heat sales totalled 2,760 GWh (2,367 GWh).
  • Electricity sales fell to 2,249 GWh (2 350 GWh).
  • District cooling sales increased to 22 GWh (21 GWh).
  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki grew by 4% to 1,227 GWh (1,179 GWh).

Helen Group’s key figures                       

 

Q1/2016

Q1/2015    

Change     

Turnover, EUR million

262

260

1 %

Operating profit, EUR million

56

86

-34 %

Operating profit, %

21

33

- -

Profit before appropriations, EUR million

50

79

-37 %

Investments, EUR million

15

29

-52 %

Equity ratio, %

71

69

 -

Return on investment (ROI), %

2

3

 -

Number of employees 31 March

1 313

1 380

-5 %

Balance sheet total, EUR million

2 721

2 714

0 %

 

Events at Helen in January–March 2016

  • In early 2016, we continued the planning of the extensive investment programme. In the first stage of the programme, we will build Finland’s largest pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari. Once completed, the amount of energy produced by the plant will correspond to the heating need of 25,000 one-bedroom apartments.
  • Pellet combustion was started at the Hanasaari power plant at the turn of the year. Similar equipment was taken into use at the Salmisaari power plant already in the previous year. Helen is currently the only energy company in Finland burning pellets in a power plant-scale pulverised fuel boiler.
  • A record amount of district heat was produced in Helsinki on 7 January 2016 when the demand for district heat increased to 2,650 megawatts due to extremely low temperatures.
  • Modernisation of the second machine of the Mankala hydroelectric power plant on the River Kymijoki started. One of the power plant’s three machines has been upgraded and the last one will be upgraded next year.
  • A total of 3,000 solar panels were installed at Finland’s largest solar power plant to be completed at Kivikko in Helsinki, and the commissioning of the plant was being prepared.
  • Preparations for the commissioning of the largest electricity storage facility in the Nordic countries in Suvilahti were made, and, e.g. earth construction and foundation work were carried out.
  • Based on the service development of electric traffic, Helen launched new service alternatives for public charging of electric vehicles in Helsinki. Now drivers of electric vehicles can choose between an unregistered one-off charge, a prepaid charge and a monthly package.
  • Helen joined as a member of Green Net Finland, which is a network of cleantech companies.

Outlook

The results for 2016 are estimated to fall substantially compared with year 2015. Uncertainties in the economy and the energy markets in Europe and Finland continue to reflect on Helen’s operations. According to forecasts, the electricity market will be very difficult for electricity producers in the next few years. The volume of renewable production is growing rapidly. The price level is low, and sharp fluctuations in market prices will continue. If implemented, the plans by the Finnish government to gradually increase the carbon dioxide tax on combined heat and power generation would have a significant impact on district heat production costs and hamper the competitiveness of district heat.

 Helen flags

Published: 28.04.2016 14:50

Sanna Jääskeläinen
Communications Manager
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