"The highlight of the third quarter was the doubling of the comparable operating profit of the Generation segment. Hydro volumes returned to normal from the historically low level a year ago. Nuclear volumes increased and were at a good level. In spite of the clearly lower spot prices we were able to increase our achieved power price with successful hedging, which further strengthened the results. The development of the Consumer Solutions and Russia segments continued to be positive, showing clear results improvements. Unfortunately, the results of the City Solutions segment was a disappointment. Several challenging external factors affected the results of the City Solutions segment, however, in order to improve the performance we are also reviewing internal corrective measures.
Based on the positive development, our return on capital employed has now increased to 9%, close to our long-term target of at least 10%. Our investment in Uniper is also contributing well to our results; our share of Uniper’s profit for the last twelve months is already EUR 532 million. It is, however, good to remember the fairly volatile nature of Uniper’s results, due to its large trading operations.
Soon after the third quarter we announced our agreement to acquire in excess of 20% of the shares in Uniper from Elliott and Knight Vinke. Once finalised, this will increase our ownership in Uniper to more than 70% and our total investment in the company to more than EUR 6 billion. The investment follows our prudent investment criteria to add value for Fortum shareholders. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals in the US and Russia. We expect to be able to close the transaction by the end of the first quarter next year.
Fortum and Uniper together have the sufficient size, expertise, and resources to succeed, to grow and to lead Europe’s energy transition. The companies’ competences are highly complementary, and we have an aggregate EBITDA of approximately EUR 3 billion. This puts us in a strong position to advance the transition and also to capture the growth opportunities it presents. This will be our key priority going forward.
Since the initial announcement of our investment in Uniper some two years ago, it has been our preference to agree with Uniper on a joint path forward. We are convinced that this change in Uniper’s ownership structure as well as a resolution of the complex relationship between all parties will return stability and put the focus solely on the business and the opportunities available. Accordingly, we announced our expectation for increased cooperation and strategic alignment as well as our intention to increase our representation on the Supervisory Board of Uniper, including the chairmanship. As a responsible and committed owner in Uniper, we also offered certain commitments to Uniper and its employees in order to provide predictability and stability. We are currently in discussions with Uniper on how to arrange these matters.
During the fall we have seen several positive developments relating to climate policy. We warmly welcome the firm climate-orientation of the new EU Commission and their initiative for a European Green Deal. We strongly advocate for the EU carbon-neutrality target for 2050 and consider that it provides an excellent opportunity to push forward our strategy ‘For a cleaner world’. We continue to promote carbon pricing for all sectors as a basis for the decarbonisation of European society. However, Europe alone cannot solve the climate challenge as it represents only 9% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, we welcomed the Russian ratification of the Paris Agreement in September. All parts of the world have to contribute; the ultimate goal should be for the most comprehensive global carbon pricing."