Number of customers at a record high, district heat demand stronger than ever

Helen konsernin tilinpäätöstiedote 2018

The Helen Group recorded an excellent result. Successful measures in the electricity wholesale market, where the price level was higher than anticipated, had an impact on the solid performance. Demand for district heat and district cooling was at a record high level, and the number of Helen’s electricity sales customers reached another all-time high.

The share of heat pumps in Helen’s production has been increased in a determined way: A completely new heating and cooling plant under the Esplanade Park was commissioned in summer 2018, and the Sörnäinen heating and pumping plant is currently being extended by one new pump. Energy storage is seen as an important part of Helen’s energy system, and we are building a gigantic cavern heat storage facility in the disused oil tanks in Mustikkamaa in addition to the existing heat accumulators. Helen’s first bioenergy heating plant was inaugurated in spring 2018. We are also building more solar energy: a new solar power plant operating on the basis of the designated panel concept launched by Helen is being built on the roof of the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre.

“We have succeeded in both sales and the development of our operations. This year, we will continue especially the development of new services and production solutions,” says President and CEO Pekka Manninen.

The Helen Group consists of the parent company Helen Ltd and the subsidiaries Helen Electricity Network Ltd, Oy Mankala Ab, Suomen Energia-Urakointi Oy, and Helsingin Energiatunnelit Oy. The Group’s associated companies are Voimapiha Oy, Suomen Merituuli Oy, and Liikennevirta Oy. The figures in brackets refer to the comparable figures for the same period in the previous year.

JANUARY–DECEMBER 2018

  • The Helen Group recorded a solid result for business year 2018. The market price of electricity in the Nordic countries was at a high level throughout the year, rising strongly in the second half due to low rainfall towards the end of the year and the increased cost of fuels and emission allowances. The volume of electricity production increased clearly on the normal level along with the price increase.
  • Net sales for 2018 totalled EUR 930 million (EUR 805 million) and operating profit stood at EUR 131 million (EUR 81 million).
  • At 6,578 GWh, the electricity sales volume grew by 7%.
  • District heat sales totalled 6,702 GWh, approximately 1% up on the previous year.
  • In the warmest days of July, the cooling need doubled on the corresponding period in 2017. Cooling was produced at full capacity, the sale of district cooling energy grew by 32% to 188 GWh.
  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki was at the previous year’s level at 4,414 GWh.

HELEN GROUP’S KEY FIGURES 2018

  2018 2017
Net sales, EUR mill. 930 805
Operating profit, EUR mill. 131 81
Operating profit, % 14 10
Profit before appropriations, EUR mill. 112 60
Investments, EUR mill. 65 95
Equity ratio, % 73 72
Return on investment (ROI), % 5 3
Employees as of 31 December 1 080 1 144
Balance sheet total, EUR mill. 2 758 2 732

OUTLOOK

Price fluctuations in the electricity wholesale market are predicted to remain high and increase in the next few years with the increase in variable production. In district heat, competition in relation to other heating methods and operators is becoming tighter as new active and prominent actors and technologies enter the market. In district cooling, more customers are sought with active sales and marketing measures.

Consensus about the rules of enforcing the Paris Convention was a key step in international cooperation. Helen aims for climate-neutral production, and we are resolutely moving towards that target. As a near-future goal, Helen will reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2025. Investments are focused on extensive utilisation of excess heat with heat pumps, and heat storage projects will also continue. Over a longer time scale, we are investigating several emission-free technologies, such as  geothermal heat, utilisation of seawater, and small modular reactors.

The ban on the use of coal pursued by the government is currently under parliamentary review. Helen has the means to replace coal. It depends on the time schedule which means can be used. In practice, when implemented, the coal act would determine the time schedule and that way also the available solutions. As the conditions stand in Helsinki, the process of building one energy production plant, including its authorisation procedure, takes up to ten years. Therefore, projects for solutions concerning year 2029 must be launched within the next few years.

If the coal act is enacted, it is important to ensure that the deletion of released emission allowances are also subject to regulation to make sure that carbon dioxide emissions are genuinely reduced. .

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 1,339,141,544.01, of which the profit of the previous financial years amounts to EUR 45,583,175.42 and the profit for the financial year EUR 42,385,975.14. The Board of Directors proposes to the annual general meeting that a dividend of EUR 51,000.00 per share shall be paid, i.e. a total of EUR 51,000,000.00, and that EUR 36,969,150.56 shall be held as retained earnings.

Published: 26.02.2019 13:01

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