"Fortum’s purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. The three pillars of our strategy are a strong Nordic core, solid earnings growth in Russia, and building a platform for future growth. Sustainability is also an essential part of our strategy. We will continue to develop Fortum in accordance with these guidelines, and the sale of the Finnish electricity distribution business was part of this strategy," said President and CEO Tapio Kuula at Fortum's Annual General Meeting in Helsinki today, the 8th of April 2014.
"Fortum’s strengths lie in carbon dioxide-free hydro and nuclear as well as in efficient combined heat and power production. We operate in energy wholesale and retail markets and continue to develop the business related to electricity sales by offering our customers new smart products and services to increase energy efficiency. Alongside the Nordic core and the Russian business, with careful consideration and prioritising, we are pursuing new growth and future energy solutions that are in line with our strategy."
"To stop climate change, the world needs increasingly more emissions-free energy. To produce the energy, nuclear power, which offers emissions-free energy on a large scale, is also needed," Tapio Kuula explains. "A very feasible solution economically and environmentally could be found by combining nuclear power with combined heat and power production in Loviisa. This so-called CHP-nuclear power would offer a very viable long-term energy solution for the capital region of Helsinki."
The target level set for the Russian business is challenging
As stated in Fortum's Financial Statements Bulletin in the beginning of February 2014, the global economy and the weakened exchange rate for the rouble will make it clearly more difficult to achieve an operating profit level of EUR 500 million run rate after completing the investment programme in 2015.
"We will continue the efforts to achieve the target level set for our Russia Division after finishing our investment programme next year. Once the political and economic situation has stabilised, we will determine if there are still adequate possibilities to achieve the current target or if we should set a new target level," Kuula said in the Annual General Meeting.
As for the tensed political situation, Tapio Kuula pointed out that significant economic relations and connections established within trade and industry have a stabilising effect on general development. The EU and Russia’s interdependence – in energy issues and in many other areas of business – brings in needed stability to the relations between the areas.
"Additionally, companies that have operations on both sides of the borders contribute to increasing the stability in the situation. It is possible to step up the collaboration even more by creating diverse partnerships between the key companies in different countries."
Tapio Kuula, CEO
Helena Aatinen, SVP, Corporate Communications
Call back requests, Fortum Media Desk +358 40 198 2843
Further information and materials on Fortum's Annual General Meeting 2014: www.fortum.com/agm
Fortum’s purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. Catering to the versatile needs of our customers, we generate, distribute and sell electricity and heat, and offer related expert services. Our operations focus on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. In 2013, Fortum’s sales totaled EUR 6.1 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.6 billion. We employ approximately 9,500 people. Fortum’s shares are traded on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. www.fortum.com