Helen has a record number of customers

FINANCIAL STATEMENT RELEASE 2017

The Helen Group's results were at the projected level, which is slightly higher than in the previous year, and the number of customers increased to well over 400,000. Helen continued to develop new services in accordance with the strategy, and it promoted especially projects related to the recovery and storage of energy.

A new heating and cooling plant is currently being implemented under the Esplanade Park, a huge heat storage facility is planned for the old oil tanks in Mustikkamaa, and the world's first seasonal thermal energy storage facility of its kind is designed for Kruunuvuorenranta. We successfully launched new services, e.g. for demand response and the storage of electricity.

"We have developed our own operations, which is reflected well in our successful sales and improved operational efficiency. We make a strong contribution to the development of new services and production solutions and that way seek new growth also in the future, says Pekka Manninen," Helen's President and CEO.

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. Its associated companies are Voimapiha Oy, Suomen Merituuli Oy and Liikennevirta Oy.

The figures presented in brackets refer to the reference period, i.e. the corresponding period in the previous year.

JANUARY–DECEMBER 2017

  • The group's results were at the anticipated level, which was higher than in the previous year. The positive profit trend in the network business, the low market price of electricity and the increased fuel costs had a key impact on the performance.
  • Net sales for 2017 totalled EUR 805 million (EUR 782 million) and operating profit stood at EUR 81 million (EUR 75 million).
  • At 6,167 GWh, the electricity sales volume fell by 2 per cent.
  • District heat sales were at the previous year's level at 6,606 GWh.
  • District cooling sales remained at the previous year's level despite an exceptionally cool summer.
  • The amount of cooling energy sold was 141 GWh.At 4,404 GWh, electricity distribution in Helsinki was at the 2016 level.

HELEN GROUP'S KEY FIGURES 2017

 

2017

2016

Net sales, EUR mill.

   805

   782

Operating profit, EUR mill.

     81

     75

Operating profit, %

     10

     10

Profit before appropriations, EUR mill.

     60

     52

Investments, EUR mill.

     95

     90

Equity ratio, %

     72

     71

Return on investment (ROI), %

       3

       3

Employees as of 31 December

1,144

1,270

Balance sheet total, EUR mill.

2,732

2,720

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY

Helen's strategy was implemented on a broad basis, e.g. through selected strategic project areas.

Helen's long-term target is climate neutrality. We make progressive investments in reducing emissions and increasing renewable energy and make use of all the opportunities offered by new technologies. New production solutions are also developed together with customers.

The growth targets for 2017 were met in the highly successful electricity sales, due to which the number of Helen's customers rose to a record level. The sales of district cooling services grew further. New energy services, such as renewable district heat, solar power plants and demand response services were also sold to business customers.

Helen's own operations were developed and their efficiency was enhanced further. We adopted new operating models, for example, in ICT and invoicing services. In production and maintenance, we were able to reduce costs and improve Helen's competitiveness by developing our operations.

EVENTS AT HELEN IN 2017

  • The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Energy Authority and Motiva awarded Helen with a recognition for its excellent energy-efficiency work. Helen's most notable achievement in energy efficiency during the period 2008–2016 was the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant that enables efficient utilisation of waste heat and recycled heat.
  • The largest heating and cooling plant in Finland was selected as part of the national peak load capacity system. Helen is taking part in safeguarding a sufficient electricity supply in the entire country with the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant.
  • Finnish people regard Helen as the most sustainable brand among energy companies according to the largest survey in the Nordic countries concerning citizens' views on the responsibility of well-known brands. At Helen, sustainability has been integrated into all operations: development of production, product and service development, customer service, sales, marketing, and communications.
  • Helen is the first company in Finland to offer the possibility of smart electricity storage for enterprises. Cooperation in electricity storage with the City of Helsinki Environment Centre was launched.
  • At its Environment Day, Helen presented solutions for a climate-neutral future: participation of city residents, recycling of waste heat, flexibility, and moving away from fossil fuels.
  • Investment in education and development is also needed.Helen opened Finland's first two-way charging point in the Suvilahti district of Helsinki in connection with Helen's solar power plant and electricity storage facility. The V2G (vehicle-to-grid) charging point enables not only charging of electric vehicles, but also using them as an electricity storage unit and taking part in the balancing of the electricity system.
  • A new, modern substation of Helen Electricity Network was completed in the Kalasatama district of Helsinki. A new fault management technology is piloted at the substation, and the energy required for it is generated with solar panels installed on the roof of the substation.
  • The construction of Helen's new heating and cooling plant made progress. Helen is building a new heating and cooling plant in the cooling cavern located under the Esplanade Park. The plant consists of two large heat pumps that produce cooling and heat. These pumps help to utilise waste heat even more efficiently than before.
  • The first wood pellets were ignited at Helen's new pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari in Helsinki in October. Round-the-clock heat production with pellets started in November. Even during the trial run, the plant produced substantial amounts of renewable district heat for Helsinki residents.
  • Helen started to offer companies the Demand Response service that can bring them considerable savings, up to hundreds of thousands of euros per year. Thanks to Helen's demand response service, the search engine company Yandex gained a 5–10 percent saving in electrical energy costs at its data centre in Mäntsälä.
  • Helen presented its plan for building a gigantic heat storage facility in disused oil caverns located deep in the bedrock in Mustikkamaa in Helsinki.

OUTLOOK

According to forecasts, the electricity market will be very difficult for electricity producers in the next few years. The wholesale price of electricity will remain low in the Nordic countries in the next few years, and investing in electricity generation is not economically viable.

The share of imported electricity in Finland has risen in the past few years. Especially in wintertime, the domestic production capacity is not sufficient to meet the demand. Wind power that fluctuates according to the weather has seen very strong growth, while a significant amount of regulatable production has been withdrawn from the market at the same time. There has been an increasing need in the power system for production capacity that has reliable availability, e.g. for combined heat and power generation. Therefore, a value should be created for this kind of production in order to safeguard market performance also in the future.

The reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for the period 2021–2030 was approved in December. The new legislation will enter into force in early 2018. In Helen's view, it is excellent that emissions trading is strengthened. Emissions trading should be the primary means of control for energy production, and any overlapping and contradictory support systems should be minimised.

The directive proposals of the EU clean energy package will be completed in phases during 2018. The key issues of the directive, the criteria for bioenergy sustainability, will have a substantial impact on Helen's possibilities of utilising bioenergy in replacing fossil fuels.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is currently preparing a legislative proposal on banning the use of coal in energy production by 2030, with a potential option of bringing the ban forward to 2025. According to the proposal, implementation of the legislation would compel the operators to carry out solutions that are too rapid and possibly inappropriate and would therefore have a very adverse effect.

The future tax 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.

The results for 2018 are estimated to be slightly lower than in 2017.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS' PROPOSAL FOR MEASURES CONCERNING THE PROFIT FOR THE FINANCIAL PERIOD

The distributable equity of the parent company Helen Ltd stands at EUR 1,327,955,568.87, of which the profit of the previous financial years amounts to EUR 34,357,493.85 and the profit for the financial year EUR 42,425,681.57. The Board of Directors proposes to the annual general meeting that a dividend of EUR 31,200.00 per share shall be paid, i.e. a total of EUR 31,200,000.00, and that EUR 45,583,175.42 shall be held as retained earnings.

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

Published: 06.03.2018 16:47

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