Helen Group’s interim report january – june 2017

Helen is first company in Finland to launch electricity storage for commercial use. Helen strengthened its position as the Nordic forerunner in energy storage. It also launched new services related to electricity storage facilities to enhance customers’ utilisation of renewable energy.Helen provides a bespoke solution for the customers’ needs, and it can also join in the project as an owner of the customer’s electricity storage facilities and solar power plants.

"Helen was awarded for its long-term energy efficiency work in June. We are using an exceptionally energy-efficient energy system, to which we can constantly connect new energy sources and services related to energy use and production. We are a forerunner, for example, in energy storage and demand response, which play a key role in the transition towards a climate-neutral energy system. However, we still have to solve considerable challenges in the transition stage in order to safeguard the sufficiency and security of energy supplies,” says Helen’s President and CEO Pekka Manninen.

The Helen Group is a commercial entity formed of the parent company Helen Ltd and the subsidiaries Helen Electricity Network Ltd, Oy Mankala Ab, Suomen Energia-Urakointi Oy and Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy.Its associated companies are Voimapiha Oy and Suomen Merituuli Oy. The figures in brackets refer to the comparable figures for the same period in the previous year.

 

APRIL–JUNE 2017

  • Turnover increased to EUR 160 million (EUR 141 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR -2 million (EUR -2 million). The increase in turnover was attributable especially to the increased number of customers and the weather conditions.
  • Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 28 million (EUR 43 million).
  • The colder than average spring and early summer increased heat sales by 27% on the previous year. Heat sales totalled 1,293 GWh (1,017 GWh).
  • Total electricity sales grew by 9% to 1,408 GWh (1,292 GWh).
  • District cooling sales stood at 39 GWh (40 GWh).
  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki grew by 2% to 1,019 GWh (1,001 GWh).

 

JANUARY–JUNE 2017

  • Turnover increased to EUR 440 million (EUR 403 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR 51 million (EUR 51 million). Turnover was boosted by the good trend in sales and the impact of tax increases on prices.
  • Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 100 million (EUR 108 million).
  • The warm winter and cold summer had an impact on heat sales, which grew by 3% on the previous year. Heat sales totalled 3,872 GWh (3,777 GWh).
  • Total electricity sales grew by 6% to 3,760 GWh (3,541 GWh).
  • District cooling sales increased by 2% to 63 GWh (62 GWh).
  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki amounted to 2,227 GWh (2,228 GW).

 

HELEN GROUP’S KEY FIGURES

 

 

4-6/2017

4-6/2016

Change

1-6/2017

1-6/2016

Change

Turnover, EUR million

160

141

13%

440

403

9%

Operating profit, EUR million

-2

-2

-43%

51

51

1%

Operating profit, %

-2

-1

 

12

13

 

Profit before appropriations, EUR million

-8

-8

8%

40

38

7%

Investments, EUR million

-26

-26

1%

-44

-41

-8%

Equity ratio, %

-

-

 

72

72

 

Return on investment (ROI), %

-

-

 

2

2

 

Number of employees on 30 June

-

-

 

1,271

1,387

-8%

Balance sheet total, EUR million

-

-

 

2,688

2,664

1%

 

EVENTS AT HELEN IN APRIL–JUNE 2017

  • Tommi Karjalainen, M.Sc. (Tech.), (born 1967), was appointed as Managing Director of Helen Electricity Network Ltd. He will take up his duties on 16 August. Current Managing Director Risto Harjanne will retire this autumn. Mr Karjalainen comes from Nab Labs Oy, which offers research and analytics services for industry and the environment sector.

  • The competition situation in the electricity retail market has continued to be challenging, but Helen has succeeded in increasing the number of its customers in both private and business sales.

  • The security of electricity supply in Helsinki was excellent. The availability of power plants continued to be high.

  • Helen was given recognition for its long-term energy efficiency work when the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Energy Authority and Motiva awarded Helen for its exemplary and successful energy efficiency work in 2008–2016.

  • In April 2017, Helen carried out an extensive customer survey among its business customers. According to the survey, Helen’s image among its own customers is excellent. For example, 92% of its customers regard Helen as more responsible than energy companies in general, and 94% consider Helen to be more reliable than energy companies in general. Helen was also ranked high for its customer orientation, proximity and favourable prices.

    • Helen was the first company to launch an energy storage service for companies, and it launched a project for an electricity storage facility in cooperation with the City of Helsinki Environment Centre.   When the customer does not need the full capacity of its electricity storage facility, Helen can purchase the surplus operating time and make it available in the electricity market.

    • A solar power plant that Helen implemented with a new service model was commissioned in the Suutarila facility of Etola. Helen is responsible for the maintenance of the solar plant, and Etola purchases solar power for its own use from the power plant in its property. The plant produces 165,000 kWh of electricity per year, corresponding to the electricity consumption of 82 one-bedroom apartments.

    • Helen agreed on the delivery, financing and maintenance of a solar power plant and an electricity storage facility on a property leased from Etera by HUB logistics. This is one of the first sites in Finland where an energy company has intelligent control of a combined solar power plant and electricity storage facility in the customer’s premises.

    • Helen further developed the Enne service together with its customers. The Enne service is the first step towards a new ecosystem in the energy sector, bringing innovations as part of the everyday life. Enne functions as a test laboratory for new energy solutions, and consumers, businesses and Helen’s experts can take part in their creation and development.

    • Helen published a solar calculator based on open data. The objective is to offer suitable solutions and indicative calculations about the benefits of solar electricity in an easy way to customers who are interested in solar power. The calculator is based on the open data material of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, including the solar power potential of the roofs of almost 200,000 buildings.

    • Fingrid selected Helen as its partner in aggregation pilots for a balancing power market. The objective of aggregation is to combine small-scale sites capable of balancing their electricity consumption or production, thus gaining financial benefits from taking part in the maintenance of the power balance in the electricity system.

    • Helen is strongly engaged in the EU project mySMARTLife to test new solutions for climate change mitigation in cities. The project includes, e.g. testing of an emission-free electric robot bus, a trial of heat demand response, and encouraging housing companies to energy-efficient renovation. It also involves planning and implementation of new kinds of solar energy solutions in Korkeasaari. The solutions tested in Helsinki can be utilised in other cities in Finland and also in other countries at a later date.

    • Helen took part in the project Energia-alan Kasvupolku® (Energy Growth Track) seeking new innovations, ideas and business models. The project pertains to Helen’s cooperation with growth companies aiming to identify new, promising partner enterprises, increase common sales and act as a facilitator of growth also through ownership arrangements.

 

OUTLOOK

According to forecasts, the electricity market will be very difficult for electricity producers in the next few years. The wholesale price of electricity in the Nordic countries will remain low in the coming years, and there are no significant signs of increases in electricity prices in the near future. It is not economically viable to invest in electricity production. Higher prices can be forecast only in the wintertime when there may be a shortage of electric power. 

The current energy and climate policy and the electricity market model do not guarantee a sufficient wintertime electricity production capacity on market terms. Helen has proposed a capacity market that would supplement the electricity market as a market-based financing alternative, where a value would be formed for the power needed by the energy system. Helen estimates that a capacity market would be the most economically advantageous way to ensure the functioning of the market in the future.

The European Union’s Clean Energy Package will make progress during the autumn. Especially the Emissions Trading Directive (ETS) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which take a position on the sustainability criteria for solid biofuels, have a significant impact on the operating preconditions of Helen and Finland’s energy sector. 

In Helen’s view, it would be important to achieve a strong emissions trading scheme that would genuinely guide investments towards emissions reduction. The emissions trading scheme should be the primary means of control for energy production, and any overlapping and contradictory support systems should be minimised. 

Some worrying signals have emerged regarding preparation related to the sustainability criteria for biofuels. In terms of Finnish energy production and Helen, it is essential that the directions taken will not unduly restrict the use of biocomponents in energy production, thus jeopardising increased use of biofuels and planned investments. 

The future taxation solutions in Finland will also have a significant impact on the ability to safeguard combined heat and power generation, which is needed especially in the winter conditions.

Helen’s results for 2017 are estimated to be at the 2016 level.

Download Helen’s interim report (in finnish)

Further information: Pekka Manninen, President and CEO, Helen Ltd, tel. +358 (0)9 617 2000

 

 

Published: 09.08.2017 11:04

Sanna Jääskeläinen
Communications Manager
Share: