Interim report: Helen ranked as the most sustainable brand among Finnish energy companies
Helen was ranked first among Finnish energy companies in the largest survey in the Nordic countries concerning citizens’ views on the sustainability of well-known companies.
Helen continued responsible and increasingly customer-oriented development of business operations, services and energy production. The goal is to develop renewable energy production and new services and to secure competitiveness of operations in a challenging market situation.
– Responsibility is part of all our activities, and it has a strong presence in our strategy which aims for fully climate-neutral energy production. We are constantly launching new solutions and services that help customers to have a say how energy is produced and used even more effectively than before, with fewer emissions. However, when moving towards a climate-neutral future, it is also important to bear responsibility for the security and sufficiency of energy supply, says Helen’s President and CEO Pekka Manninen.
The Helen Group is a group of companies 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.
The Group’s results for the first quarter were as planned. Net sales increased to EUR 280 million (EUR 262 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR 54 million (EUR 52 million). Net sales were boosted by the good trend in sales and the impact of tax increases on prices.
- Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 72 million (EUR 65 million).
- The warm start of the year reduced heat sales by 7% from the previous year. Heat sales totalled 2,579 GWh (2,760 GWh).
- Total electricity sales grew by 5% to 2,352 GWh (2,249 GWh).
- District cooling sales increased by 8% to 24 GWh (22 GWh).
- Electricity distribution in Helsinki fell by 2% to 1,208 GWh (1,227 GWh).
HELEN GROUP’S KEY FIGURES
|Net sales, EUR million||280||262||7 %|
|Operating profit, EUR million||54||52||3 %|
|Operating profit, %||19||20||-3 %|
|Profit before appropriations,
|Investments, EUR million||-19||-15||-23 %|
|Equity ratio, %||71||71||0 %|
|Return on investment (ROI), %||2||2||0 %|
|Number of employees 31 Mar.||1 214||1 313||-8 %|
|Balance sheet total, EUR
|2 765||2 721||2 %|
EVENTS AT HELEN IN JANUARY–MARCH
Helen became the most sustainable brand among Finnish energy companies in the largest survey in the Nordic countries (Sustainable brand indexTM) concerning citizens’ views on the sustainability of well-known companies. Helen was ranked first in the industry in both of the scored categories, which were environmental responsibility and social responsibility.
The construction work on the pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari progressed when the installation of Finland's largest pellet boiler was started. This is one of the biggest renewable energy investments in Finland. The wood pellet heating plant will be completed in early 2018. After completion, it will generate renewable district heat for the needs of about 25,000 one-bedroom flats. Wood pellets will replace the use of fossil fuels in Helen’s district heat production.
Finland’s largest heat pump plant, Helen's Katri Vala heating and cooling plant, was selected as part of the national peak load capacity system for the forthcoming three-year period: thus, as part of the peak load capacity system, Helen will contribute to ensuring that Finland has a sufficient electricity supply by reducing the electricity consumption of the heating and cooling plant in exceptional situations, i.e. when peak load capacity is needed.
Helen launched on the market a solar power plant concept where business customers gain all the benefits of their own solar energy without having to make capital investments. Helen takes care of the implementation, financing and maintenance of the plant.
Helen also continued investing in the development and sale of electricity demand response services to business customers. Helen utilises, e.g. management software for distributed energy systems enabling active participation in the electricity market and a new revenue model for the customer.
The SunZEB project made progress. Helen, Asuntosäätiö, Fira Oy and the VVO Group (Kojamo as from 4 April) have joined forces in the planning of a diverse residential block in Kalasatama in Helsinki with an objective of taking housing quality and energy efficiency to a whole new level of future standards. In the so-called SunZEB plus energy model, the excess heating load of the sun on the buildings, which has been problematic in the current construction methods, is turned into an opportunity where buildings are used as a source of renewable energy. The construction of the first houses will start in 2018.
Uncertainties in the economy and the energy markets continue to reflect on the business operations. 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 lucrative to invest in electricity production without subsidies. Higher prices can be forecast only in the winter time 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 winter-time electricity production capacity on market terms. Helen has proposed a capacity market that would supplement the electricity market as an alternative market-based solution, 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 take care of the functioning of the market in the future.
The operating results for 2017 are estimated to be at the 2016 level.