‘We were hoping that 2017 would be a good year, but it was a positive surprise even for us that it turned out so well,’ said Andres Allikmäe, Chairman of the Management Board of Harju Elekter, summing up the Group’s economic results for the year. 2017 was indeed exceptionally successful for the Group – sales revenue in excess of EUR 102 million and operating profit of EUR 5.4 million, the highest in history.
This superb increase in annual sales volumes is attributable mainly to the contracts with Finnish distribution networks Caruna and Elenia, thanks to which the production of substations in the Estonian and Finnish plants of the Group has grown over the year from one thousand substations to three thousand substations per year. Also, the large order received from Konecranes in January 2017, for delivering 86 special-purpose substations to the United States, is no less important.
‘Developments on our target markets also favour the Group’s results, since a lot of energy sector investments are currently being made in the Nordic countries. Commodity prices have increased slightly, but we have managed to keep prices under control with reasonable procurements,’ Allikmäe.
The Group’s largest market remains Finland. Sales to the Finnish market grew to EUR 75 million, up from EUR 34 million, accounting for 73% of total sales revenue. A significant contribution to market growth in Finland also came from the acquisition of a new subsidiary, Telesilta Oy, which is engaged in shipbuilding electrical works.
‘In January 2018, we are a completely different Group than we were a year ago. We have grown to include 13 companies, and we have nearly 700 employees in four countries. This kind of a Group needs to be developed, managed and inspired in a completely different way. We are bigger, and an important keyword that binds us together is integration of cooperation’.
Once again, we were able to please our shareholders, since Harju Elekter, which is listed on the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange, will be paying dividends to shareholders this year in the amount of EUR 0.24 per share, meaning that total earned net profit is EUR 4.3 million. ‘For the second consecutive year we are paying out 100% from our traditional business in the form of dividends and compared to the previous year, profit has increased by one-third,’ said a very pleased Allikmäe. ‘This has been made possible due to the financial position of the company, and given the situation where we have done well it seems only fair that, while normally being a stable dividend payer, we also give a little more joy to our shareholders’.
Also, the company’s stock price rose by a significant 75% to EUR 5, from EUR 2.85, during the financial year.