Helen’s first year of operation – a year of renewal

CEO Pekka Manninen:
At Helen, 2015 was a year of renewal. The old name, Helsingin Energia, was now part of history after Helen Ltd started operations on 1 January 2015.  The change of name and appearance made our renewal visible to the outside, too.

We made significant investments in customer-oriented product and service development and brought several new services to the market as the first company in Finland. We made substantial investments in renewable energy and emissions reductions. Our customer services were awarded as the best among major energy companies for the tenth time.

The challenging market situation and the intensifying competition are the result of a shift in the energy sector. This kind of shift creates good opportunities for new kind of business operations. We will continue to improve the efficiency of our operations and develop new products and services to maintain Helen’s position as the forerunner of energy companies and a reformer of the energy sector.

Group and parent company: Key figures 2015

 

Helen   Group

Parent   company Helen Ltd

 

 

 

Net sales,   EUR mill.

746

634

Operating   profit, EUR mill.

110

95

Operating   profit, % of net sales

15

15

Profit   before appropriations, EUR mill.

83

83

Investments,   EUR mill.

115

74

Equity ratio

71

77

Return on   equity, %

4

4

Employees as   of 31 December

1,342

1,067

 

The Helen Group is a commercial entity, which consists of the parent company Helen Ltd and its subsidiaries Helen Sähköverkko Oy, Oy Mankala Ab, Suomen Energia-Urakointi Oy and Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy. The associated companies of Helen Ltd are Voimapiha Oy and Suomen Merituuli Oy.

The business figures of Helen Ltd are not comparable with the operations of Helsingin Energia with the exception of sales-related energy volumes.

Helen’s first year of operation went according to plan

The year 2015 was characterised by exceptional weather conditions. The mild weather reduced the district heat sales revenues, and the cool summer eroded the expected growth in the sale of the district cooling energy. The fall in fuel costs compensated the fall in net sales, and the results were at the predicted level.

Helen Group’s net sales for 2015 stood at EUR 746 million and the operating profit at EUR 110 million. District heat sales fell by 7% on the previous year to 6,019 GWh. At 7,122 GWh, the electricity sales volume remained at the 2014 level, but due to the lower market price of electricity, the net electricity sales fell by 11%. District cooling energy sales were down by 5% from the year before. Electricity distribution in Helsinki fell by 4% to 4,317 GWh.

The share of emission-free production methods in total electricity procurement grew. Hydropower, nuclear power and wind power accounted for approx. 33 per cent of total procurement. The share of hydropower increased to 11 per cent in 2015.  Carbon dioxide emissions from Helen’s energy production decreased by approx. 8% on the previous year to approx. 2.9 million tonnes.

Investments in renewable energy and emissions reduction

In the financial year 2015, Helen Group’s investments totalled EUR 115 million.

Pellet combustion equipment enabling the combustion of wood pellets mixed with coal was built at the Hanasaari power plant. At the Salmisaari power plant, a similar pellet system was introduced already at the end of 2014. With the planned combustion volumes, Helen’s pellet consumption will correspond to about one-third of the total pellet production in Finland today.

Helen’s investments in flue gas cleaning technology and especially in reducing nitrogen oxides at the Salmisaari and Hanasaari power plants amounted to almost EUR 20 million.

A total of 29 kilometres of new district heating and cooling networks were constructed, and they accounted for EUR 17 million of all investments. A new underground substation in Pasila was completed

Helen presented a development programme for increasing renewable energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The implementation solution, with progressive investment in biofuels used in heat production, was approved by the City Council of Helsinki last December. At the same time, the Council decided on decommissioning the Hanasaari power plant by 31 December 2024 at the latest.

With progressive investment, it is possible to take into account new technological solutions and any changes in customers’ energy use. We are also investigating, for example, the utilisation of geothermal heat, and we are seeking new opportunities to expand the use of solar heat and heat pumps. Helen is already Finland’s largest producer of solar heat.

The first significant investment project will be the largest pellet-fired heating plant in Finland, designed for the Salmisaari power plant area, replacing the oil-fired heating plant. Once completed, the amount of energy produced by the new plant will meet the heating need of 25,000 one-bedroom apartments.

The next step will be to build a large bio-energy heating plant in the Vuosaari power plant area and possibly also at another site.

Helen Ltd reorganised its business structure

Helen Ltd reorganised its business structure to correspond with the company’s strategy. The changes aim to improve the company’s competitive position in the constantly evolving energy market. The objective is to boost sales and improve customer experiences and thus to increase the company’s market share and improve 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.

Financing
 
The equity ratio of the parent company was 77%, and the amount of interest-bearing debts was EUR 499 million at the end of the financial year. The interest-bearing debts consist of a subordinated loan (EUR 157 million) taken out from the owner, a so-called senior debt (EUR 294 million) taken out from the owner, and loans taken out from financial institutions (EUR 48 million).

Employees

The parent company had 1,067 employees at the end of the year. The number of permanent employees was 1,016, or 95%, and the number of fixed-term employees was 51. The average number of employees was 1,111.

The average number of employees of Helen Sähköverkko Oy was 108 and that of Suomen Energia-Urakointi Oy 167. The other subsidiaries did not have any employees at the end of 2015.

Outlook for the future

The result for 2016 is expected to show a fall on the previous year. Uncertainties in the economy and the energy markets in Europe and Finland continue to have repercussions on our business operations. According to forecasts, the electricity market will be very difficult for electricity produces in the next few years. The volume of subsidised renewable production is growing rapidly. The prices are at a low level, and the steep price fluctuations will continue and strengthen further.  Over a longer period of time, especially the investment solutions related to Helen’s development programme will have a significant impact on the company’s earnings potential.

The Board of Directors’ proposal for the distribution of dividends

The distributable equity of the parent company Helen Ltd stands at EUR 1,323,155, 185.70, of which the profits for the financial year amount to EUR 67,974,375.03. 

The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that the company should pay a dividend of EUR 34,000.00/share, totaling EUR 34,000,000.00, and that EUR 33,974,375.03 should be retained in shareholders’ equity.

Helen Group’s annual report and corporate social responsibility report will be published on 16 March 2016.  

 Helen flags

Published: 07.03.2016 16:06

Sanna Jääskeläinen
Communications Manager
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