Helen is creating new solutions in a radically changing energy market

Helen Group's financial statement bulletin 2016

Helen Group’s results exceeded the forecast level, but remained clearly below the previous year’s level. In the challenging change situation of the energy market, Helen continued its development of business operations, services and energy production in accordance with the strategy.  Helen aims to find new solutions by offering its customers opportunities to have an impact on service development and to participate in the implementation of production solutions.


- The Finnish energy industry is undergoing a transition period which has thoroughly impacted the energy production structure and the electricity market. The energy sector needs new operational practices and new solutions for customers. Business operations are still strongly based on the present services, but in the future, customers will play an increasingly important role in the two-way energy market; with their own actions, customers can contribute to making energy production more efficient, with fewer emissions. We are moving towards the energy society of the future, states Helen’s CEO Pekka Manninen.


 

The Helen Groupis a commercial entity, which consists of the parent company Helen Ltd and its subsidiaries Helen Electricity Network Ltd, 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 figures presented in parenthesis refer to the reference period, i.e. the same time period in the previous year.


JANUARY-DECEMBER 2016

  • In a challenging market situation, the Helen Group’s results exceeded the forecast level, but remained clearly below the previous year’s level. The operating profit stood at EUR 75 million (EUR 110 million.). The drop in the operating profit was mainly due to the low market price of electricity, a lower sales volume of electricity and increased fuel costs.
  • Turnover grew on the previous year, standing at EUR 782 million (EUR 746 million).
  • District heat sales grew by 10% on the previous year to 6,633 GWh.
  • At 6,649 GWh, the electricity sales volume fell by 7% on the previous year.
  • District cooling sales grew by 13% on the previous year to 141 GWh.
  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki increased by 2% to 4,424 GWh.

 

HELEN GROUP: KEY FIGURES  

 

2016

2015

Net sales, EUR mill.

782

746

Operating profit, EUR mill.  

75

110

Operating profit, % of net sales

10

15

Profit before appropriations, EUR mill.

52

83

Investments, EUR mill.

90

115

Equity ratio, %

71

71

Return   on equity (ROE), %

3

4

Employees as of 31 December

1,269

1,342

Balance sheet total, EUR mill.

2,720

2,721

 

 

 

 

STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

Helen’s strategy defined in spring 2016 was widely implemented, e.g. with respect to the selected strategic objectives.

The most significant strategic policy with respect to the development of Helen’s energy production structure is the long-term target of climate neutrality by the year 2050. Guidelines have also been set for Helen in a decision that the Helsinki City Coucil made in December 2015 ; the City Council decided to decommission the Hanasaari power plant in 2024 and to replace its production with renewable energy.

Helen Ltd. aims to make progressive investments to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources, and utilise all the possibilities offered by new technologies. The company also increasingly develops new energy production solutions together with its customers.   

During 2016, Helen propmoted its  strategic growth targets by investing strongly in sales development and the management of customer accounts. Helen also introduced on the market new services, such as a renewable district heat product aimed at business customers, with production based on biogas. Solutions related to solar energy and demand response were also actively promoted. Helen made good progress in the improvement of profitability and competitiveness, e..g. in energy production and distribution, as well as maintenance.

 

EVENTS AT HELEN IN 2016

  • Finland’s largest solar power plant was commissioned in the Kivikko district of Helsinki. The solar power plant consists of 3,000 solar panels, and its estimated annual production corresponds to the annual consumption of about 350 one-bedroom flats. The total output of Helen’s solar power plants exceeds one megawatt, which is about 13% of the solar power production connected to the national grid.
  • The construction of a large pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari began. This heating plant will be one of the biggest investments in renewable energy in Finland, and it will have the largest pellet boiler in Finland. The pellet-fired heating plant will be completed in early 2018.   
  • The design of a new heating and cooling plant to be built underneath the Esplanade Park in Helsinki progressed in accordance with the time schedule. The investment will cover two industrial-scale heat pumps that will produce cooling and heat. They will increase the cooling output of the Esplanade cooling centre to a total of 50 megawatts. The new heating plant will be commissioned in spring 2018.
  • Helen started to produce district heat with domestic biogas derived from waste, which increased the use of renewable energy sources. At the same time, Helen introduced on the market a renewable district heat product aimed at business customers, with production based on biogas in the early stages.  
  • Helen Electricity Network Ltd started construction work in Kalasatama. The new substation in Kalasatama will support electricity distribution in the nearby areas and improve the security of electricity supply. The substation will be commissioned in autumn 2017. A new section will also be added to the underground distribution network in the area. 
  • The largest electricity storage facility in the Nordic countries, located in the Suvilahti district of Helsinki, was introduced as part of the joint Nordic electricity system in August. In cooperation with Helen Electricity Network Ltd and Fingrid Oyj, Helen Ltd launched a three-year research project to promote the utilisation of electricity storage facilities. In the pilot project, new possibilities offered by a megawatt-scale electricity storage facility will be tested:  flexible intermediate storage of electricity and new business models that can be developed by storing electricity.  
  • Helen developed a completely new kind of service for consumers interested in responsible energy use and production. The Enne service offers its members useful tips for energy consumption and instructions on how to improve the efficiency of their energy use. The Enne service is available for everyone to join, regardless of their location or type of home.

 

OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE

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 challenging for electricity producers in the next few years. The wholesale electricity price will remain low in the Nordic countries in the forthcoming years, and there are no significant signs of electricity price rises in sight. It is not profitable in invest in unsubsidised electricity production. Higher prices can only be expected in the winter season, when production capacity may momentarily be inadequate.

The so-called winter package that the European Commission published at the turn of the year will provide an extensive steering framework for the energy and climate policy in the 2020s. The implementation of the National Energy and Climate Strategy will have a considerable impact on the future of energy production in Finland.

The result for 2017 is expected to remain at the same level as in 2016.

 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ PROPOSAL FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF DIVIDENDS

The distributable equity of the parent company Helen Ltd. stands at EUR 1,395,913.30, of which the profits from the previous financial years amount to EUR 33,974,375.03 and the profit from the financial year to EUR 20,766,238.82.

The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that the company should pay a dividend of EUR 20,383.12/share, totalling EUR 20,383,120.00, and that EUR 34,357,493.85 should be held as retained earnings.    

Helen Group’s annual report and corporate social responsibility report will be published on 15 March 2017.

Further information: Helen Ltd, CEO Pekka Manninen, tel. +358 9 617 2000

 

 

Published: 16.03.2017 13:57

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