Metsähallitus reports a slightly weaker performance
In 2014, Metsähallitus made 114.2 million Euro in earnings. Group earnings were EUR 1.8 million lower than in the previous year. Turnover totalled EUR 360.6 million, down some 14 million from 2013.
According to Director General Esa Härmälä, 2014 was a successful year for all of Metsähallitus’ main functions.
Among the business functions, operating profit from forestry improved although turnover was reduced by declining demand. Sales of commercial timber declined somewhat, to slightly under 6 million cubic metres.
Laatumaa also recorded a good result. Of the affiliated companies, Siemen Forelia was profitable but Fin Forelia and MH-Kivi made a loss. In 2014, the separate business portfolio unit comprising businesses other than forestry was discontinued.
In forestry, Metsähallitus continued major investment in non-business targets. Taking account of general social obligations that go beyond the provisions of the Forest Act has decreased our calculated operating profit by EUR 55 million.
Parks & Wildlife Finland, which has responsibility for Metsähallitus´ public administrative tasks, almost fully achieved the targets set by the Ministries. The overall financing of Parks & Wildlife Finland increased by EUR 3.6 million, to EUR 65.4 million. Of this, EUR 50.5 million was obtained from the state budget and the remainder came from cash flow from operations and project funding.
Major decisions on protection, with a bearing on Metsähallitus, were made in 2014. A total of 13,000 hectares of Metsähallitus’ multiple-use forests were protected under the auspices of the forest biodiversity programme of Southern Finland. The national parks of Teijo and Southern Konnevesi were established, and Metsähallitus also continued preparing its proposal for a mire protection programme. This protection proposal, covering 6,000 hectares, was completed in the winter of 2015.
On account of tightened revenue recognition requirements, a record amount of forest land was sold in 2014, equalling that covered by the METSO protection programme. “This total of 26,000 hectares has permanently diminished Metsähallitus’ ability to make a profit,” Härmälä points out.
2014 was also marked by cultural values, strengthening Metsähallitus’ position as a guardian of Finnish cultural heritage. Parks & Wildlife Finland obtained custody of 29 significant cultural heritage sites, such as the ruined castles of Raasepori, Kuusisto and Kajaani and the Langinkoski imperial fishing lodge in Kotka. The cultural heritage of multiple-use forests in the forestry sector was inventoried, covering an area of 700,000 hectares.
The number of personnel employed by the Group decreased. The number of realised person-years fell by around 60 compared to the year before, to 1,752 person-years. 64% of the personnel were engaged in business activities and 36% in Parks & Wildlife Finland.
The Board of Directors proposed a total of EUR 110 million of the profits to be transferred to the state.