"The strategic decision to focus on market-based operations and rental housing service design was turned into concrete action in 2016."

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 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 and our personnel, Board of Directors and other stakeholders for numerous success stories during the past year!

Jani Nieminen




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