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Helen’s profit trend continues at a good level – waste heat is utilised to a higher degree in cooperation with a key customer

Helen’s profit trend has continued at a good level in the third quarter, with successful measures in the electricity market playing a key role. Helen continues its business transformation in accordance with the strategy set out in the spring.

- Helen aims to be the most customer-oriented energy company in the market. We are building a carbon-neutral future together with our customers. An excellent example of this is the current joint project with Paulig: waste heat recovered from a coffee roastery can meet the heat demand of up to 1,000 one-bedroom apartments. The recycling of heat produced in food production processes into the district heating network is unique in the Helsinki region, but new technical solutions make it possible,” says Helen’s 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, 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 figures for the same period in the previous year. The subsidiary Suomen Energiaurakointi Oy was sold on 30 April 2019, after which has not been included in the Group’s figures. 

JULY–SEPTEMBER 2019

  • The Group’s results improved on the previous year. Net sales stood at EUR 126 million (EUR 136 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR 13 million (EUR 0 million).

  • Heat sales totalled 647 GWh (552 GWh), up by 17%.

  • Total electricity sales grew by 2% to 1,032 GWh (1,015 GWh).

  • Cooling sales fell to 75 GWh (85 GWh).

  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki was at the previous year’s level, standing at 986 GWh (994 GWh).

JANUARY–SEPTEMBER 2019

  • The Group’s results improved on the previous year. Net sales increased to EUR 644 million (EUR 611 million), with operating profit amounting to EUR 128 million (EUR 69 million). The successful measures in the electricity market and the favourable trend in the heat business contributed to the increase in net sales and the positive results.

  • Heat sales were down by 3% on the previous year due to the mild start to the year, totalling 4,433 GWh (4,575 GWh).

  • Total electricity sales grew by 4% to 4,809 GWh (4,620 GWh).

  • Cooling sales fell slightly to 151 GWh (158 GWh).

  • Electricity distribution in Helsinki was at the previous year’s level, standing at 3,202 GWh (3,236 GWh).

HELEN GROUP’S KEY FIGURES

 

KEY EVENTS IN JULY–SEPTEMBER

  • Helen and Paulig launched a joint waste heat recycling pilot at the Vuosaari coffee roastery. A new technical solution enables recovery of waste heat in quantities enough to cover the annual heat demand of 1,000 one-bedroom apartments.  The recycling of waste heat generated by the food industry production processes to the district heating network is unique in the Helsinki region.

  • In August, Messukeskus Helsinki and Helen Ltd opened one of the largest solar power plants in Helsinki on the hall roofs of the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre. The solar power plant started operation at the end of August and the beginning of September 2019. Construction of an extension also started at the same time.

  • In September, an open day for local residents and other visitors was held in Vuosaari to demonstrate the operation of Helen’s power plant and the new projects in the area: the heat pump utilising the heat of sea water, the bioenergy heating plant and the city refinery that improves the efficiency of materials recycling.

  • In sales, a new type of trainee programme was launched in September. Helen is aiming for strong growth through new energy solutions, and the sales organisation is strengthened with the trainee programme.

  • A free event open for all was organised at the Allas Sea Pool in Katajanokka. The theme of the event was Helen’s carbon-neutral future and presenting the concept to visitors.

Outlook

Price fluctuations in the electricity wholesale market are expected to increase in the next few years along with the rise in variable production. Competitiveness in the price of district heat will remain at a good level; due to the investment in carbon neutrality, it will remain competitive and in demand also in the future. 

The natural gas market will open to competition from the beginning of 2020 when the natural gas distribution and energy sales in the wholesale market will be unbundled. As a result of the opening up of the market, the competitiveness of natural gas is expected to rise.

During the current government term, one of the biggest targets with regard to the energy sector is the comprehensive reform of energy taxation. From Helen’s point of view, the most important area with a need for reform is the change of the electricity tax class for heat pumps producing heat to the district heating network from the current tax class I to tax class II. The change is necessary for making district heating carbon neutral. In our view, the tax change will also be easy to carry out. With the current taxation model, the profitability of heat pump investments is challenging in comparison with traditional energy investments.

Helen is actively promoting the fact that the comprehensive reform of energy taxation will take account of the steering effect of the emissions trade and the new heat production and customers’ own solutions, and that it would not put an unreasonable tax burden on current heat production and that way increase the costs to customers.

In accordance with the strategy set out in the spring, Helen will respond to the changing face of the energy sector through strong investment in the solution business and by building partnerships that support its strategy. We are joining forces with customers to build a carbon-neutral future – a brilliant example of this is the cooperation with Paulig, Sponda and Messukeskus, reaching key milestones during the period under review.

 Helsinki 31 October 2019

Published: 06.11.2019 11:46
Seija Uusitalo
Communications Manager
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