Finnvera Group’s Report of the Board of Directors and Financial Statements for 2019
Finnvera Group, Stock Exchange Release 26 February 2020
SME and export financing increased – the positive result grows Finnvera’s risk buffer
Ceo Pauli Heikkilä:
”After a few years’ decline, Finnvera’s financing granted to SMEs and midcap enterprises increased in 2019. Financing granted to large corporates for export transactions also increased year on year. Growth stemmed particularly from the wave of investments in cruise shipping.
The corona virus that spread across the world from January 2020 on demonstrated that global events affect enterprises in Finland, too – most concretely in tourism and cruise shipping sector. The total impact of the virus remains to be seen. For a provider of financing, it is essential to assess impacts in the long term. Finnvera’s drawn cruise shipping exposure amounts to EUR 3.7 billion, and in addition, Finnvera has a portfolio of commitments and binding offers far into the future.
Our operations are guided by self-sustainability, which is ensured with risk management, careful risk analysis and reinsurance, among other means. Finnvera has achieved cumulative self-sustainability during the company’s 20 years of operation.
The year 2019 was financially favourable for Finnvera. The Finnvera Group’s result was EUR 94 million (EUR 98 million). The profit of the SMEs and midcap business of the parent company Finnvera plc stood at EUR 17 million (EUR -4 million), and the result of the parent company’s Large Corporates business and the subsidiary Finnish Export Credit Ltd. accounted for EUR 77 million (EUR 103 million) in total. The reserves accumulated during the operations for potential future losses amounted to EUR 1.9 billion at the end of the year.
Long delivery times of cruise ships have tied up Finnvera’s authorisations to grant export financing. At the turn of the year, the Finnish parliament decided on a legislative amendment that raised our authorisation to grant export credit guarantees from EUR 27 billion to EUR 38 billion at the beginning of 2020. These figures are high, but we need authorisations in order to make the existing orders possible in cooperation with Finnish shipyards and to also serve other sectors and SMEs. The impact of export financing extends widely through subcontracting networks and jobs created, which strengthens its importance for the national economy.
The financing we granted to SMEs and midcap enterprises amounted to nearly EUR 1 billion. In line with our strategy, more than 80 per cent of the financing focused on start-ups, enterprises seeking growth, internationalisation and change, and transfers of ownership. The share of financing granted to SMEs seeking growth and internationalisation in SME financing increased to 45 per cent. Financing for transfers of ownership also reached a new record. One of the highlights of the year was the introduction of an unsecured SME Guarantee in September 2019. The SME Guarantee is a guarantee of 80 per cent aimed at growth-oriented enterprises. The enterprise applies for the guarantee through a bank from Finnvera for a maximum loan amount of EUR 150,000. The SME Guarantee, for its part, supports our objective of our financing helping clients generate and obtain turnover, financial profit and jobs that would not have been possible otherwise.
Finnvera’s total exposure, including credit commitments, at the end of 2019 was EUR 27.5 billion. Approximately half of the total exposure were binding financing offers or agreements that are related to future deliveries by export companies.”
Finnvera Group, business operations and the financial performance
- Loans and guarantees granted: EUR 794 million (EUR 765 million), change 4%
- Export credit guarantees and special guarantees granted: EUR 5,442 million (EUR 3,145 million), change 73%
- Export credits granted: EUR 2,491 million (EUR 2,197 million), change 13%
- The credit risk for Finnish Export Credit Ltd’s export credits is covered by the parent company Finnvera plc’s export credit guarantee
- The annual fluctuation in the amount of export credit guarantees and export credits is influenced by the timing of individual major export transactions
31 December 2019 (31 December 2018)
- Exposure, drawn loans and guarantees for SMEs and midcap enterprises: EUR 1,928 million (EUR 1,974 million), change -2%
- Exposure, export credit guarantees and special guarantees, including SME and midcap export credit guarantees: EUR 25,489 million (EUR 23,631), change 8%
- Of this cruise shipping exposure EUR 13,786 million (EUR 12,835 million)
- Drawn exposure EUR 11,443 million (EUR 10,275 million), change 11%, of which cruise shipping exposure EUR 3,669 million (EUR 3,005 million)
- Undrawn exposure EUR 9,486 million (EUR 9,474 million) and binding offers EUR 4,560 million (EUR 3,881 million), change in total 5%, of which cruise shipping exposure in total EUR 10,117 million (EUR 9,830 million)
- Exposure, export credits drawn: EUR 7,299 million (EUR 5,981 million), change 22%
Finnvera Group, year 2019 (vs. 2018)
Profit for the period
Balance sheet total EUR 12.7 bn
Average number of employees
Non-restricted equity and The State Guarantee Fund
Focus of financing
*of SME and midcap financing focused on start-ups, enterprises seeking growth, internationalisation and change, and transfers of ownership
Finnvera Group’s result for 2019 was EUR 94 million (EUR 98 million), which was 4 per cent less than in the previous year. Compared to the previous year, the factors that had the greatest impact on the generation of the result were the increase in the net amount of realised and expected losses from the outstanding credits and guarantees and the guarantee portfolio, positive changes in the value of items measured at fair value through profit or loss, as well as the higher amount of the net fee and commission income from export and special guarantee operations. Of the Group’s result, EUR 22 million was generated in July–December and EUR 72 million in January–June. The considerable lower result in the second half of the year was due, in particular, to the increase in the expected losses in the exposure and the measurement at fair value.
Net interest income
Net fee and commission income
Gains and losses from financial instruments carried at fair value and foreign exchange gains and losses
Other operating expenses and depreciations
Realised and expected credit losses total, net
Profit for the period
Outlook for financing
According to forecasts, the year 2020 will be considerably more subdued in the Finnish economy than the previous year. For instance, the Bank of Finland’s and the Ministry of Finance’s forecasts of the growth of Finland’s GDP in 2020 have declined to approximately 1 per cent. The decline in new orders in industrial production also indicate that growth is coming to a halt.
In order to maintain its growth opportunities, Finnvera’s strategic objective is to direct 80 per cent of the SME and midcap financing to start-ups, growing and internationalising enterprises as well as to transfers of ownership and investments. In particular, we will work to ensure that investments and international growth receive financing in the current year, and we are prepared to assume even larger financing shares in projects when the business operations meet the profitability requirements. In smaller financing needs, Finnvera focuses on providing guarantees. Increasing the provision and awareness of the SME Guarantee introduced in the autumn 2019 is a key goal for 2020. Our work to increase the number of SMEs that use export financing services continues. Finnvera continues to actively offer advisory services related to financing export transactions and preparing for risks. Demand for financing related to enterprises’ transfer of ownership is expected to remain high. The use of the EU guarantee instruments may impact the demand for financing provided by Finnvera. The diversity of the financing market and availability of financing to enterprises are key.
The raised export financing authorisations implemented at the beginning of 2020 will provide Finnvera with opportunities to address the demand. It is estimated that granting export credit guarantees and export credits will remain strong in 2020 and that demand for guarantees will continue to focus on the cruise shipping, telecommunications and pulp and paper sectors. As in previous years, the overall volume is affected by the realisation and timing of individual major transactions. Regionally, financing is expected to focus on the United States and Latin America. The uncertainty of the global economy will support the demand for financing guaranteed by an export credit agency in countries with political risks.
The corona virus that started spreading from January 2020 on may have an extensive effect on world economy. The overall impact remains to be seen. For a provider of financing, it is essential to actively monitor the situation and to assess the impacts in the long term.
The strategy will be implemented throughout the Group as planned in 2020, and operations are expected to be self-sustainable in the current financial period as well. The realisation of losses and development of expected losses involves uncertainty, which may have a considerable impact on the generation of the result.
Pauli Heikkilä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2400
Ulla Hagman, CFO, tel. +358 29 460 2458
NASDAQ Helsinki Ltd, London Stock Exchange, the principal media, www.finnvera.fi
The Annual Report is available in Finnish and English at www.finnvera.fi/financial_reports