Good result in a year of change
Good result in a year of change
Metsähallitus employees were able to perform well during 2016, which was a year of change. The Group’s turnover for the full year was EUR 333 million; very close to the EUR 337 million in turnover for the previous year.
“This achievement shows that our personnel continued to operate with firm resolve and excellent productivity, even if the changes to the Act on Metsähallitus brought a lot of additional work associated with the switch to a new structure”, says Director General Pentti Hyttinen.
Excluding non-recurring expenses, the adjusted annual result was EUR 107 million; about four million euro above the budget target. However, additional pension contributions and other non-recurring items resulting from the change in legislation reduced the result to EUR 94 million.
For the period of validity of the old Act (1 January–14 April 2016), Metsähallitus paid EUR 10 million to the Finnish State. The enterprise’s Board of Directors proposes a payment of EUR 86 million to the state for the rest of the year. Additionally, Forestry Ltd pays taxes to the state on its profits.
Euros and other benefits of commercial forests
Euros are only one of the benefits that Metsähallitus generates for society.
“Our business is an entity where, for every two euros generated, we must create non-monetary benefits worth at least one euro for the state”, Hyttinen points out. The importance of these social obligations increased slightly; their estimated monetary value stands at EUR 56 million. More attention was paid to sites of high natural value, for example, than in the previous year.
“Social obligations, such as the use of commercial forests for recreation, as well as biodiversity and taking account of reindeer husbandry, entail additional expenses. In addition, some of the proceeds from timber sales are lost. Without these, the operating result would have been an estimated EUR 56 million higher. This can be considered the value of the social benefits gained”, says Hyttinen, highlighting the important role played by the obligations.
The change in legislation had no impact on Metsähallitus’ social obligations.
National parks on the upswing
Parks & Wildlife Finland and Game and Fisheries Services have a major impact in addition to the associated business activities. The funding used by these units reached EUR 63 million last year.
Metsähallitus made headway on the tourism front in particular. In 2016, national parks were visited more than 2.8 million times; an increase of 7% on the previous year. In the case of all 39 national parks, the local impact of visitor expenditure on total income and employment amounted to EUR 178.9 million and 1,774 person-years of work. Also significant was the Government’s decision in principle to establish the Hossa National Park.
In business activities, Metsähallitus’ real estate development (Laatumaa) provided major momentum for the development of two key tourist destinations, Ruka and Saariselkä. Beginning the planning of eastern Ruka will provide an important stimulus for the entire tourist centre.
Forestry Ltd, the unit responsible for Metsähallitus’ primary business, also achieved its goals. The sales volume of commercial timber was 5.9 million cubic metres; roughly the same as in the previous year.
Pentti Hyttinen, Director General, tel. +358 40 546 5227
Juha Mäkinen, Director of Communications, tel. +358 40 570 9307