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Fortum profits drop, Helen up 386%

Fortum’s profit for October–December fell to €744m while Helsinki utility Helen's soared to €31m.

Helein Salmisaaren voimalaitosten yläosat ja piiput, jokta tupruttavat savua ilmaan. Kuvan alaosassa alueen rakennusten kattoja.
Helen's Salmisaari power plant in Helsinki (file photo), Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle
Yle News

Finland’s biggest energy firm, the majority-state-owned Fortum saw its profits drop last year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, the utility reported an operating profit of 1.3 billion euros last year, down from 4.3 billion euros the previous year.

However, the company's result improved in the last quarter of the year, after it shed its loss-making German subsidiary Uniper.

“Last year was difficult. After all that, I’m pleased that we can now report good numbers, CEO Markus Rauramo told Yle.

“The company's balance sheet is in good shape, and that gives us good opportunities to start implementing our new strategy,” he said.

Fortum’s comparable operating profit for October–December was 744 million euros, up from the previous year's corresponding figure of 519 million euros. Due to the better result at the end of the year, Fortum will be able to pay a dividend to its shareholders.

“Our excellent hydropower and nuclear power plants have worked efficiently and reliably, and that's why we were able to make a good result,” Rauramo said.

Fortum is also revising its strategy. While it previously aimed to become a major European player, now its focus is on "supplying reliable clean energy and reducing industrial carbon dioxide emissions in the Nordic countries".

Fortum is among the European utilities with the largest hydropower and nuclear power capacity.

According to Rauramo, future growth will come from renewable and low-emission energy.

“In the future, we’ll explore opportunities in hydrogen and possibly new nuclear power,” said Rauramo.

The company pledged to commit to stricter responsibility and climate goals in the future and to invest 1.5 billion euros in clean energy by 2025.

Helsinki utility's profits skyrocket

Meanwhile energy company Helen, an energy utility owned by the city of Helsinki, said that its operating profit increased by 386 percent last year.

Operating profit in October–December was 31 million euros, Helen said on Tuesday. The company had posted a loss of 11 million euros from the same period of 2021.

As a result of its bumper profits, Helen will pay a dividend of 62 million euros to the city of Helsinki.

Last autumn Helen raised eyebrows as it raised electricity rates while announcing that its second-quarter profits had tripled from the same quarter of the previous year.

It lowered some customers' rates earlier this month.

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