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News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Europe will begin phasing out coal subsidies and cut its energy use by 30% before the end of the next decade, under a major clean energy package announced in Brussels on Wednesday. The 1,000 page blueprint to help the EU meet its Paris climate commitments also proposes measures to cut household electricity bills, integrate renewables into power markets, and limit use of unsustainable bioenergy. The EU’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said that the new energy efficiency target was a centrepiece of the package, and would curb energy imports, create jobs and bring down emissions. “Europe is on the brink of a clean energy revolution,” he told a press conference in Brussels. “And, just as we did in Paris, we can only get this right if we work together.” The bloc’s vice president for energy union, Maroš Šefčovič added: “This is really something of a transformational nature that we are proposing – perhaps the biggest since the central power systems were built in Europe.” It is unclear whether the UK will pass the new clean energy measures into national law before an anticipated Brexit in 2019. A government spokesman would only say: “The UK Government is committed to ensuring the UK has a reliable, low cost and clean energy system. This is in line with the EU’s Energy Union ambition. He added: “The Winter Package released today represents the European Commission’s view of what the next steps should be in developing the legislative framework to support that ambition.” The commission says that the new package’s benefits include a €177bn (£151bn) mobilisation of public and private investment per year in the next decade, that could create 900,000 new green tech jobs and spur a 1% increase in GDP. Adrian Joyce, the secretary general of EuroACE, an alliance of energy efficiency companies said the new EU-wide energy saving target was “reassuring” but that his members had expected nothing less. “We will now turn to the European parliament and member states to call for an increase in the target, as 30% is no better than business as usual,” he said. To keep the bloc on track towards its goal of providing 50% of electricity from renewables in 2030, the package will also bar coal-fired plants from access to “capacity mechanisms” that guarantee back-up power reserves. A benchmark of 550 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour will be introduced for new plants, in line with the European Investment Bank’s emissions performance standard. Existing plants will have to comply with the new limit by 2026. In the interim though, 280 existing coal plants and 13 planned new ones could still benefit from the current system, according to Greenpeace. The campaign group’s spokeswoman Tara Connolly, said: “Not only is the commission slamming on the brakes on renewables, it wants to let governments dole out cash to almost all coal power stations in Europe for at least another decade.” In total, eight pieces of legislation were proposed today, covering a dizzying array of issues from electricity market design to energy poverty, and from biofuels to security of supply. As the Guardian has reported, new measures were pitched to put an electric car charging point in every new home, to redesign some energy-guzzling products and to remove new wind and solar power plants from the EU’s priority dispatch system. Despite this, the WindEurope trade association welcomed the package as “more good than bad” on balance. But it still called on MEPs and EU states to pile on the pressure for an increased renewable energy target before the proposals become law. The fossil fuels industry gave a guarded welcome to the EU’s deregulatory approach, particularly the removal of the priority dispatch system. But Roland Festor, a director of the International Association of Oil and Gas producers said: “Proposals for new targets in different areas appear counter to the market-based approach. Too many targets risk [policy] overlap, with the consequence of weakening rather than strengthening EU climate and energy policy.” Much of the commission’s package navigated between the contrasting demands of fossil fuel-dependent countries and industries and those such as Germany and Denmark, which already have advanced plans to decarbonise. Nowhere was the commission’s balancing act more finely weighted than on the vexed question of bioenergy, which Cañete admitted was “a clear problem”. The bloc has pledged to phase out subsidies for food-based energy crops, but a revised renewable energy directive released today only whittles down a cap on such biofuels from 7% in 2020 to 3.8% in 2030. Sini Eräjää, a spokeswoman for BirdLife Europe, said: “Ignoring science and brushing aside evidence of the destructive impacts of current bioenergy use will not make these problems go away. It will more likely make them worse.” Many environmental groups gave similarly one-handed applause to the new package, which treads water on key issues such as renewable energy targets and the pace of decarbonisation. Jonathan Gaventa of E3G called the legislation “politically cautious” while ClientEarth lawyer Maria Kleis-Walravens dubbed it “disappointing in the extreme”. “Civil society has one hand tied behind its back, making it easier for industry to continue its capture of the legislative process,” Kleis-Walravens said. “There is a very high risk that Europe won’t get the energy transition it needs to provide clean, affordable power for all.” The new package will also set up an energy poverty observatory, and offer consumers new safeguards before they can be disconnected from the grid.


News Article | August 28, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Renewable energy projects across the world received funding worth $6 billion in 2015 from multilateral banks, a recent report has revealed. The World Bank, The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a total of $25 billion in climate finance across the world. Around 20% of this investment (i.e., $5 billion) went into adaptation projects, while the remaining 80% was invested into mitigation projects. The World Bank Group — which includes International Finance Corporation, World Bank, and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency — led with a total investment of $10.7 billion, followed by the European Investment Bank with $5.1 billion of investment. The renewable energy sector was the largest beneficiary of the mitigation investment made by these six banks. The sector received a total of $6 billion. The transportation sector received $5.3 billion, followed by energy efficiency at $2.8 billion. Within the mitigation investment, non-EU Europe and Central Asia received 24% (or $4.7 billion) of the total $20 billion, while East Asia and Pacific, EU11, and South Asia received around $3 billion each. The Middle East and North Africa combined with sub-Saharan Africa received a total investment of almost $3 billion. With solar power tariffs becoming increasingly competitive across the world – be it the Middle East, India, or Latin America – project developers are expected to look for more funding from multilateral banks which provide debt funding at very low cost.   Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: tech.eu

UK-based Upstream, a mobile commerce platform, announced that it has raised €25 million in growth financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The financing has been granted with the support of the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Through Upstream's software and infrastructure platform, 1.2 billion people are able to receive and pay for digital subscription services on their mobile devices. Upstream offers products ranging from infotainment and microinsurance, to mobile security and antivirus, cloud storage, gaming, video portals, app stores, language learning courses and award-winning mobile marketing promotions. The company already has a strong international presence, with 10 regional hubs, and employs over 330 professionals. The EIB funding will allow Upstream to expand its global operations and to invest in R&D. The investment will also help the company to continue to improve its technology platform and its big data capabilities. “We are proud to have been selected by the EIB for growth financing," commented Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream, in a statement. "This is testament to our ambitious growth prospects, and the excellent work we have done on research and development, to date. We look forward to continue to invest in this important area in the years to come.”


SATO Corporation and Aktia Bank plc have agreed on an unsecured bilateral loan of €50 million. The loan will be used for refinancing purposes. The agreement on the five-year loan with two one-year extension options was signed in Helsinki on 14 December 2016. The financing agreement is part of SATO's continuous process to adjust its financing structure towards increased use of unsecured debt. SATO has diversified its financing structure and improved its liquidity position with €400 million unsecured syndicated credit facilities signed with several commercial banks in June. The solidity of SATO's financing structure has also been boosted further by unsecured bond issues and the unsecured loan of €150 million obtained last month from the European Investment Bank (EIB). - This loan from Aktia helps enable our flexible investments in the near future, says SATO President and CEO Saku Sipola. The loan is important for us as it diversifies SATO's financing structure further and supports our objective of increasing the share of unencumbered assets. According to Sipola, commercial banks can also see the changes made in SATO's financing structure and find that it makes sense for them to support the company in its unsecured borrowing arrangements. For more information please contact: SATO Corporation Saku Sipola, President and CEO, phone +358 201 34 4001 or +358 40 551 5953 Janne Runsamo, Group Treasurer, phone +358 201 34 4009 or +358 45 671 3567 SATO is one of Finland's leading rental housing providers. SATO's aim is to offer comprehensive alternatives in rental housing and an excellent customer experience. SATO holds roughly 25,700 rental apartments in Finland's largest growth centres and in St Petersburg. In our operations, we promote sustainable development and initiative-taking, and work in open interaction with our stakeholders to create added value. We operate profitably and with a long-term view.We increase the value of our housing property through investments, divestments and repair work. SATO Group's net sales in 2015 were €323.4 million, operating profit €196.5 million and profit before taxes €159.4 million. SATO's investment properties have a value of roughly 3.3 billion (Q3/2016).


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will gradually phase out subsidizes for renewable energy and shift its climate change strategy to areas such as energy saving and carbon capture, the government said on Wednesday. A week ago, the Netherlands announced a 33 percent increase in subsidies for solar, wind, geothermal and other projects to 12 billion euros ($12.9 billion) in 2017, from 9 billion euros in 2016, as it struggles to reach 2020 targets. But the "Energy Agenda" published by the Economic Affairs ministry on Wednesday - setting out how greenhouse gas emissions can be cut to 80-95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 - said subsidies would be phased out as renewables become more viable. Offshore wind turbines will no longer require subsidies by 2026 and the government intends to designate new areas of the North Sea for wind energy, the paper says. The Energy Agenda also says there will be a minimum 20 billion euros of investment in the electricity grid and a reduction in vehicle emissions to zero for all new cars by 2035. The government intends to encourage power companies to make it easier for individuals to invest in renewables, such as wind and solar farms, partly to undermine "not in my backyard" sentiment which hampers such projects at the planning stage. Because Dutch fossil fuel-based industrial production is relatively efficient, the paper said Europe's "cap and trade" system of reducing carbon emissions is unlikely to be effective in the Netherlands until the 2030s. As a result, the country is studying what additional measures it can take, perhaps in collaboration with Britain and Germany, to reduce industrial CO2 emissions. A 100 million-euro fund that provides guarantees or subordinated loans to projects that reduce CO2 will be expanded, and is likely to receive additional funding from the European Investment Bank, the paper said. The cost of meeting the 2050 goals could be 10 billion euros annually, or about 1.4 percent of GDP, the Energy Agenda says, acknowledging there are large areas of uncertainty.


Receive press releases from ClearViewIP Ltd.: By Email European Investment Bank Selects ClearViewIP to Lead Support Programme on Intangible Assets and IP in the Western Balkans UK IP strategy consultancy, ClearViewIP has been selected by the European Investment Bank to help lead support programme on intangible assets and Intellectual property in the western Balkans region. London, United Kingdom, March 01, 2017 --( Ultimately, the assignment will promote IP-driven business transactions and partnerships and support innovators’ ability to raise finance, be it through IP transfer, IP-based business partnerships, or by demonstrating to potential investors the economic and financial value of their intangible assets. ClearViewIP was specifically chosen based on its breadth of global IP commercialization experience and track record of helping companies of all sizes reach the full monetisation potential for their innovations. The assignment is expected to bring together representatives from financial intermediaries, IP professionals, universities, business support networks and businesses (particularly SMEs) in the Western Balkans. "ClearViewIP is excited for the opportunity to work with the EIB and is looking forward to meeting and developing relationships with innovative SMEs and key stakeholders in the Western Balkan IP ecosystem to unlock the region’s IP potential," commented ClearViewIP Director, Benoit Geurts. About the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) The Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) was launched in December 2012 at the initiative of the EIB Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and with the support of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) as a new complementary measure for improving access to finance for SMEs and supporting economic development in the region. This platform was created with the aim of promoting the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential SMEs as well as the creation of a regional venture capital market. The Facility is coordinated by the European Investment Fund (the EIB’s arm specialised in supporting Europe’s SMEs) and implemented in close cooperation between the governments of the Western Balkans, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. IFIs, international organisations, and bilateral donors active in the region, such as the World Bank, DEG, OECD, and others are participating in order to streamline the efforts to develop the private sector in the Western Balkans. London, United Kingdom, March 01, 2017 --( PR.com )-- ClearViewIP, a leading IP Strategy Consultancy, and Patent Brokerage Firm, based in Winchester, UK is pleased to announce they have started an ambitious project commissioned by the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF). ClearViewIP will support the design and implementation of a toolkit aimed at releasing investment opportunities and unlocking commercial and funding potential in intangible and intellectual property (IP) assets in 6 countries of the Western Balkans region: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.Ultimately, the assignment will promote IP-driven business transactions and partnerships and support innovators’ ability to raise finance, be it through IP transfer, IP-based business partnerships, or by demonstrating to potential investors the economic and financial value of their intangible assets. ClearViewIP was specifically chosen based on its breadth of global IP commercialization experience and track record of helping companies of all sizes reach the full monetisation potential for their innovations.The assignment is expected to bring together representatives from financial intermediaries, IP professionals, universities, business support networks and businesses (particularly SMEs) in the Western Balkans."ClearViewIP is excited for the opportunity to work with the EIB and is looking forward to meeting and developing relationships with innovative SMEs and key stakeholders in the Western Balkan IP ecosystem to unlock the region’s IP potential," commented ClearViewIP Director, Benoit Geurts.About the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF)The Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) was launched in December 2012 at the initiative of the EIB Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and with the support of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) as a new complementary measure for improving access to finance for SMEs and supporting economic development in the region.This platform was created with the aim of promoting the emergence and growth of innovative and high-potential SMEs as well as the creation of a regional venture capital market. The Facility is coordinated by the European Investment Fund (the EIB’s arm specialised in supporting Europe’s SMEs) and implemented in close cooperation between the governments of the Western Balkans, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. IFIs, international organisations, and bilateral donors active in the region, such as the World Bank, DEG, OECD, and others are participating in order to streamline the efforts to develop the private sector in the Western Balkans. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from ClearViewIP Ltd.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Upstream, a leading mobile commerce platform, announced that it has been given 25 million Euros in growth financing by the European Investment Bank. The financing has been granted with the support of the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial instrument of the European Commission’s Investment plan for Europe. Thanks to the EIB’s funding, Upstream will benefit from long-term and stable capital to support the implementation of its growth strategy, further boosting the company’s expanding global operations. Trusted by over 60 mobile operators, benefitting from 80 million paying subscribers, and reaching 1.2 billion consumers in high-growth markets, the financing will enable Upstream to further invest in R&D activities. This will help the company to continue to improve its industry-leading technology platform and innovative product offering, as well as its big data capabilities. For 15 years now, Upstream’s success has been fuelled by its forward-thinking business strategy, which revolves around three key pillars: its pioneering mobile commerce platform, its exceptional workforce and its effective organisational structure. With products ranging from infotainment and microinsurance, to mobile security and antivirus, cloud storage, gaming, video portals, app stores, language learning courses and award-winning mobile marketing promotions, Upstream has a strong international presence, with 10 regional hubs, employing over 330 professionals. Marco Veremis, CEO & Co-founder, Upstream, commented: “We are proud to have been selected by the EIB for growth financing. This is testament to our ambitious growth prospects, and the excellent work we have done on research and development, to date. We look forward to continue to invest in this important area in the years to come.” Panos Martinis, CFO, Upstream, added: “The EIB has stringent selection criteria, which we are pleased to have met. The EUR 25 million growth financing will enable us to support our ambitious growth plans, with a strong focus on research and development. This will help us continue to further our international presence and appeal. It is fantastic to see the EIB’s continued commitment to Greece, and we are honoured to have been given this additional boost for our research programme.” Nicholas Jennett, Deputy Director General, Head of Investment team for Greece, EIB, stated: “I am pleased to see how Upstream, one of Greece’s most innovative companies, is using the money we have made available to invest in its future growth and development. This is a company with a proven strategy and promising growth prospects. I am looking forward to seeing it continue to flourish with EIB’s support.” Andreas Aristotle Papadimitriou, Investment Officer, EIB, concluded: “Upstream is an innovation-driven company, with an exemplary workforce and a list of clients to match. It is wonderful to be part of its journey, by enabling its continued investment in R&D and big data, thanks to the growth financing. We look forward to seeing the company continue to evolve and thrive.” The finance agreement was signed in December 2016, in Athens, in the presence of EIB President, Werner Hoyer, as well as senior Greek ministers. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's bank. The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but it also supports the EU's external and development policies. Since 2010, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 9 billion to ensure continued investment in crucial infrastructure including education, energy, waste and water and by companies across Greece. Upstream is a leading mobile commerce platform, accelerating m-commerce in high growth markets. Our software and infrastructure platform already enables 1.2 billion people to effortlessly receive and pay for the most relevant and affordable digital subscription services on their mobile devices. We have 80 million paying subscribers in 45+ countries, making purchases worth $237 million in 2016 alone and growing rapidly. For mobile operators, we are a strong partner that leverages their unique assets to become key players in the mobile commerce space. For developers, publishers and service providers, we offer fast track access to 45+ high growth markets.


The Board of Directors has today approved the interim report for the period 1 January – 30 September 2016. Summary for the first nine months of 2016 Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH) has continued to grow in the first nine months of 2016. Revenue grew by 9.8%, which is in line with the growth in passenger numbers, partly because of the low price-index adjustment of charges. Profit before tax increased by 17.1% to DKK 1,268.7 million, primarily due to a combination of the high passenger growth and continued focus on efficiency, which has reduced costs per passenger excluding one-off items by 3.3% compared to the same period last year, despite heavy investment in the security area and further additional regulatory requirements. CPH is maintaining its full-year outlook for profit before tax in line with the updated outlook of 10 August 2016. A total of 8,413,408 passengers travelled through Copenhagen Airport in the third quarter of 2016, giving a total of 22,118,267 passengers in the first nine months, an increase of 9.9% on 2015. A large part of the growth can be attributed to more tourists flying to Denmark. The growth has been driven in particular by more passengers on the international routes. Long-haul intercontinental traffic increased by 10.6% and European traffic by 10.0%, with domestic traffic also showing solid year-on-year growth of 6.9%. The number of foreign tourists flying to Copenhagen increased by approx. 16% in the first half year of 2016 and the number of foreign business travellers by more than 12%. This can partly be attributed to new routes and increased capacity in the form of larger aircraft and more departures. Copenhagen Airport has managed to attract additional new routes in recent years and increased capacity with larger aircraft and more departures. The many new routes are helping to attract more tourists to Danish destinations, and contributing to growth and job creation in the tourism sector throughout the country. This is one of the very positive effects of the development of new routes at Copenhagen Airport seen historically, and will be further enhanced in the coming years as CPH realises its plan to grow from 25 to 40 million passengers a year. To achieve this objective CPH will need to invest up to DKK 20 billion in CPH’s growth plan, Expanding CPH. The consultancy company DAMVAD Analytics has calculated that the growth at Copenhagen Airport from 2005 to 2015 has increased Denmark’s gross domestic product (GDP) by approx. DKK 31 billion. The new routes, the higher seat capacity and the increased number of passengers flying to Copenhagen Airport in the first nine months of 2016, have boosted Copenhagen Airport’s contribution to GDP by approx. DKK 2.9 billion, according to DAMVAD Analytics. The high growth in passenger numbers means that CPH continues to have a high level of capital investments. CPH is maintaining its Expanding CPH strategy, under which it will expand and develop the airport as passenger numbers increase. Investments totalling DKK 664.7 million were made in the first nine months of the year. These relate to expansion of capacity at the central security checkpoint, new aircraft stands, improvement of wide-body facilities, runway renovation, and various IT systems and additional investments. On 24 October 2016, CPH signed a new guaranteed loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The agreement provides CPH with a project-financed credit limit of up to DKK 1,250 million. Within this framework, CPH can utilise the facility over the 10-year life of the loan, with the option to extend up to a total of 15 years. The new facility from EIB is a seal of approval for CPH’s growth plan, Expanding CPH. The outlook for traffic growth, profit before tax and capital expenditure is unchanged from the announcement of 10 August 2016. Based on the expected traffic programme for 2016, an increase in the total number of passengers and revenue is expected. The development in passenger numbers is a dynamic factor that is subject to both positive and negative influence from general economic developments, decisions by airlines relating to routes and capacity, and isolated events in the aviation industry. Operating costs are expected to be higher than in 2015, primarily due to the expected rise in passenger numbers, enhanced security requirements and cost inflation, although this will be partly offset by a continuing focus on operating cost efficiencies. Overall, depreciation charges and financing costs are expected to be slightly higher than in 2015, primarily as a result of a continued high investment level. Profit before tax in 2016 is expected to be in the range of DKK 1,550-1,650 million, excluding one-off items. EBITDA is projected to be higher in 2016 than in 2015, excluding one-off items. CPH expects to continue to invest in growth for the benefit of passengers and airlines. As in recent years, CPH expects capital investments to remain at a high level in 2016. Investments include expansion of the central security checkpoint, including four additional security lanes, the expansion of passport control at Pier C with self-service passport control for EU citizens, improvement of wide-body facilities, and a redesigned passenger drop-off zone in P4. CPH will also be investing in non-aeronautical projects for the benefit of airlines and passengers.


News Article | March 3, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

The company's significant transformation and the largest investments in its history The result for the 2016 review period was excellent, based on the increase in the value of our apartment assets, the success of our operating activities and a good financial occupancy rate. We underwent a major transformation, building future competitiveness in an environment where Finland is becoming increasingly urbanised, digitalisation is proceeding and people's housing preferences are developing rapidly. The strategic decision to focus, as a housing investment company, on market-based operations and rental housing service design was turned into concrete action in the review period: the Group made the largest investments in its history and divested non-profit properties subject to long-term restrictions. As stated in our mission, we create better urban housing. We have boldly developed our operations and innovated housing solutions and services, with the aim of generating even better customer experience. In five years, we have invested nearly EUR 1.5 billion in boosting the Lumo business operations. In addition to acquisitions, we have launched the construction of nearly 4,000 privately financed rental apartments. The Lumo brand has achieved a strong market position, and it already constitutes 90 per cent of our Group's business. The Lumo online store has revolutionised the customer's role in renting an apartment, and more than a thousand tenancy agreements have already been signed through the service. Lumo Kompakti will offer a new housing solution, and the car-share scheme has expanded to several locations. During the review period, we developed the Lumo business with record-breaking EUR 700 million investments. We acquired ICECAPITAL Housing Fund II with its 2,274 market-based rental apartments. The apartments are mainly located in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Tampere. Our Group's binding acquisition agreements, amounting to more than EUR 300 million at the end of the year, are key to the completion of 2,635 new Lumo homes. We have actively divested properties that do not support our strategy due to their characteristics or location. We sold 8,571 non-profit cost principle apartments to Y-Foundation and, towards the end of the year, we signed an SPA whereby a total of 1,344 non-restricted apartments, located around Finland, were sold after the review period to a company managed by Avant Capital Partners. Our extensive investments also require diverse financing solutions. We issued a EUR 200 million senior secured bond on 17 October 2016 and had it listed on the official list of Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. The Group and the European Investment Bank agreed on EUR 170 million of long-term financing, which will be used to fund new net or nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEBs) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and other major growth centres over the next few years. The financing from the EIB is part of an investment programme in which we will implement a total of 1,800 apartments. During the review period, we specified our strategy and updated our values so that they are aligned with our restructured operations as well as with future success factors identified on the basis of the operating environment and megatrends. Our strategic focal points are Delivering the best customer experience, Dynamic and professional place to work, Generating long-term shareholder value and Leading on sustainable development. These focal points are turned into concrete, practical actions together with our competent personnel. Our new values are Happy to serve, Strive for success and Courage to change. Our personnel showed utmost commitment and forward-looking thinking in their contribution to defining the values, which provides a solid foundation for our operations. The volume of construction and the level of activity in the housing market have been delightfully high. Nevertheless, even the current pace is not sufficient to fully meet the needs of the fastest growing urban centres. During the review period, our Group was the leading operator in property investments and the largest real estate investor in Finland with its EUR 4.3 billion apartment assets. Our market share of the entire rental housing supply is 4.2 per cent and, in line with our 2021 strategy, we will continue making significant investments both through the development of new properties and through the acquisition of existing properties in the largest growth centres. We want to respond to the demand for rental housing, particularly in the Helsinki region, making it easier for people to move around in pursuit of employment in urbanising Finland. By investing in profitable growth, we are building the future and we believe that the Lumo brand and service design will lead the way in the housing sector. I would like to thank our customers for their active contribution to our versatile cooperation. VVO Group estimates that in 2017, net rental income will be EUR 208-220 million. Investments in new development and housing stock acquisitions are forecast to exceed EUR 300 million. VVO Group estimates that in 2017, its operative result will be EUR 96-107 million. The outlook takes into account the effects of both the significant housing divestments carried out in 2016 and the housing divestments and acquisitions planned for 2017, the estimated occupancy rate and the number of apartments under construction. Proposal by the Board of Directors for the distribution of profits The parent company VVO Group plc's distributable unrestricted shareholders' equity at 31 December 2016 was EUR 152,587,002.95, of which the profit for the financial year was EUR 67,499,178.76. No significant changes have taken place in the company's financial position since the end of the financial year. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that the distributable funds be used as follows: a dividend of EUR 6.80 per share to be paid for every Series A share, totalling EUR 50,337,408.00, and EUR 102,249,594.95 to be retained in unrestricted shareholders' equity. VVO Group plc offers rental apartments and housing services in Finnish growth centres. The vision of the housing investment company is to be a pioneer in housing and the customer's number-one choice.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH) set a new passenger record for a sixth consecutive year in 2016. Copenhagen Airport reached 29 million passengers for the year, representing growth of 9.1%, which was stronger than expected. Passenger numbers at Copenhagen Airport in 2016 increased by 9.1%, or more than 2 million passengers, to 29.0 million, helping revenue to grow by 8.9% to DKK 4,421.9 million. Profit before tax climbed to DKK 1,620.1 million including one-off items and DKK 1,635.5 million excluding one-off items. This is in line with the guidance set out in the stock exchange announcement of 8 November 2016. Growth was primarily driven by a higher number of international passengers, reaffirming Copenhagen Airport’s strong competitive position as a Northern European hub. There was also increased revenue from the shopping centre, parking and the hotel operation. A significant proportion of the passenger growth resulted from the rising number of tourists travelling to Denmark via CPH. In 2016, the number of international tourists flying to CPH increased by 11% compared to 2015. This was due to new air routes and greater capacity in the form of bigger aircraft and more departures. DAMVAD Analytics has calculated that the growth at Copenhagen Airport in the period 2005 to 2015 contributed approx. DKK 31 billion to Denmark’s gross domestic product (GDP). According to DAMVAD Analytics, the new routes, greater seating capacity and increased number of passengers travelling to Copenhagen Airport added a further DKK 5.7 billion in 2016. The number of international departing passengers increased by 9.4%, while the number of domestic departing passengers increased by 5.8%. The total number of transfer passengers increased by 3.9%. More routes and more passengers mean more demands on Copenhagen Airport, so at the end of 2016 Copenhagen Airports A/S presented a major general investment plan aimed at expanding the airport to handle 40 million passengers a year. In 2016, CPH invested DKK 1,033.5 million in, among other things, expansion projects, including the work with a major expansion of the central security checkpoint to double its current size and with five new lanes. CPH expects the new security checkpoint to open later in 2017. CPH also invest in increasing capacity for large wide-body aircraft, upgrading a number of bus gates and establishing a brand new Pier E to handle future intercontinental growth. Total investment level for 2017 is expected to amount to approximately DKK 1.3 billion. Revenue from the shopping centre increased by 4.3% in 2016. The main drivers were the increase in departing passengers and an improved shop and brand mix within specialty stores and restaurants. The TAX FREE shops were in line with 2015. Parking revenue grew by 11.4% due to an ongoing stronger online presence and an increase in passenger numbers. Hotel revenue increased by DKK 14.7 million, equivalent to 6.9%. In January 2017, CPH entered into an agreement with Petter Anker Stordalen and Nordic Choice Hotels, which from 1 April 2017 will take over the operation of the existing hotel as part of Clarion Hotel. The agreement also includes the construction and operation of a new Comfort Hotel with 500 rooms and a 3,000 m2 conference facility, which is expected to open in 2020. On 24 October 2016, CPH signed a new guaranteed loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The agreement provides CPH with a project-financed credit limit of up to DKK 1,250 million. Within this framework, CPH can utilise the facility over the 10-year life of the loan, with the option to extend by up to 15 years. The new facility from EIB is a seal of approval for CPH’s growth plan, Expanding CPH. CPH received a number of awards in 2016. By way of example, it was named most efficient airport in Europe by the Air Transport Research Society and won the Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year. Based on the expected traffic program for 2017, an increase in the total number of passengers is expected. The development in passenger numbers is a dynamic factor that is subject to both positive and negative influence from general economic developments, decisions by airlines relating to routes and capacity, and isolated events in the aviation industry. The increase in passenger numbers is expected to have a favourable impact on revenue. Operating costs are expected to be higher than in 2016, primarily due to the expected rise in passenger numbers, stricter security requirements and cost inflation, although this will be partly offset by a continuing focus on operating cost efficiencies. Overall, depreciation charges and financing costs are expected to be higher than in 2016, primarily as a result of a continued high investment level. Profit before tax in 2017 is expected to be in the range of DKK 1,600-1,700 million, excluding one-off items. EBITDA is expected to be higher in 2017 than in 2016, excluding one-off items. CPH expects to continue to invest in growth for the benefit of passengers and airlines, and is therefore continuing with Expanding CPH, the plan to expand and develop the airport as passenger numbers increase. CPH expects capital investments to increase in 2017 from an already high level in 2016 in order to accommodate the high passenger growth, particularly during the past year. Planned investments include expansion of the central security checkpoint, expansion of wide-body facilities, establishing a brand new Pier E to handle future intercontinental growth and expansion of Terminal 2 airside. CPH will also be investing in non-aeronautical projects for the benefit of airlines and passengers. The Group’s Annual Report is attached in PDF format.

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