Ekokem's CEO Karri Kaitue:
“The maintenance shutdown of our high-temperature incineration facility in Sweden was moved some months earlier, which affected availability in the first quarter of 2016. Otherwise, production was running as expected. Demand for environmental management services remained healthy, and the environmental engineering markets continued to be strong. Although the prices of electricity and recyclable materials such as metals and oil remained low, Ekokem was able to maintain healthy profitability.
Occupational safety at Ekokem has shown a positive trend compared to the first quarter of 2015. However, occupational safety development is a process that requires continuous attention. The safety objective for 2016 is to reduce accidents by 50% from the previous year. A revised monthly corporate reporting system has been introduced for monitoring progress in this respect.
In February, Ekokem announced that it would initiate a capital structure assessment with the objective of securing resources for the company's future development. The assessment work is under way. Similarly, the efficiency programme launched in late 2015 is progressing as planned.”
Key figures (EUR million)
% of net sales
% of net sales
Profit for the period
Earnings per share, EUR
Net interest-bearing liabilities
Equity ratio, %
Net gearing, %
Net cash flow from operating activities
Average number of personnel
Ekokem Group’s development during the first quarter
Ekokem Group’s net sales in the first quarter amounted to EUR 60.6 million (EUR 55.7 million),
showing a year-on-year increase of 9%. The increase in net sales is largely attributed tothe consolidation of the Danish operations, effective from February 2015. In the first quarter of 2016, approximately 58% of Ekokem’s net sales were generated by operations in Finland, approximately 26% by operations in Denmark, and approximately 17% by operations in Sweden.
The Ekokem Group's EBITDA was EUR 18.0 million (EUR 17.0 million), and the EBITDA margin was 29.6% (30.5%). A one-off adjustment item of EUR 1.0 million attributable to inventory levels and deferred revenue and related to previous financial periods had a negative impact on the EBITDA. This accounting item has no effect on Ekokem's cash flow. The Group's depreciations rose slightly and, as a result, the operating profit – EUR 10.2 million during the first quarter of 2016 – remained on the same level as a year earlier (EUR 9.9 million).
Net cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 11.4 million (EUR 14.5 million). Investments in the first quarter totalled EUR 6.6 million (EUR 89.4 million), the largest involving the construction of the Riihimäki Circular Economy Village.
As of end of the first quarter 2016, equity ratio was 40.2% (38.4%) and net debt totalled EUR 101.9 million (EUR 113.0 million).
Environment, health and safety
No incidents were recorded of flue gas emissions exceeding the Ekokem Group's environmental permit limits in the first quarter of 2016 (one in 2015). Concentration and load limits for wastewater discharges were exceeded on a total of two(4) occasions. Two accidents resulting in absence from work occurred during the quarter (in Q1/2015: 5). Ekokem's accident frequency (LTI1, accidents per one million working hours as a rolling average for 12 months) fell to 9.6 from a level of 11.1 in 2015.
Ekokem’s net sales are expected to grow in 2016. According to the company’s view the prerequisites for its business are good and supported by, among others, the expected positive impact from the efficiency measures carried out in autumn 2015 and the completion of the Circular Economy Village. However, the low oil and energy prices will continue to put some pressure on the development.
Ekokem will continue to develop its operations and actively explore different opportunities for expanding its business, primarily in the Nordic countries. The aim is to ensure a sufficiently extensive service portfolio that enables Ekokem to provide a comprehensive range of waste management services for its industrial clients.
Major events after the end of the period
In April, Ekokem signed a three-year revolving credit facility agreement amounting to EUR 30 million. The purpose of the financing agreement is to ensure adequate flexibility and availability of financing for the Group's general needs. No funds have been withdrawn under the credit line agreement.
Ekokem’s Annual General Meeting was held in Helsinki on 29 April 2016. The Annual General Meeting approved the company’s financial statements for the financial year 1 January – 31 December 2015 and discharged the Board of Directors and CEO from liability. In accordance with a proposal by the Board of Directors, the Annual General Meeting decided to pay a total of EUR 7.0 million in dividends, i.e. EUR 2.00 per share. In accordance with the shareholders' Nomination Board's proposal, the Annual General Meeting decided to appoint five members to the Board of Directors. As proposed, Juha Vanhainen, Leena Karessuo, Pia Björk and Tiina Tuomela were re-appointed as members of the Board of Directors. Marko Hyvärinen was elected as a new member. The Annual General Meeting appointed Juha Vanhainen as the chairman and Leena Karessuo as the vice-chairman of the Board of Directors.
Trial operations began at the Riihimäki Circular Economy Village in May, with the Eco Refinery and Ekokem Plastic Refinery processing the first waste batches. Once the complete operations have started, Ekokem will begin the contract delivery of plastic raw materials from its Plastic Refinery to customers such as Amerplast Oy, which will use the material for the manufacture of plastic bags.
In February, Ekokem announced that it would initiate a capital structure assessment with the objective of securing resources for the company's future development. One of the alternatives considered has been listing on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. In May, Fortum Corporation announced it had made an indicative, non-binding offer to the four biggest shareholders of Ekokem to acquire their shareholding in the company. These biggest shareholders (Finnish State, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company and Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY) together own some 81% of the company’s shares.
Markus Melkko, Chief Financial Officer, Ekokem Corporation, tel. +358 10 7551 237
Hanna Masala, SVP Strategy, IR and Communications, Ekokem Corporation, tel. +358 10 755 1110
The information presented in this Interim Report is unaudited. The Danish NORD Group has been consolidated into Ekokem’s financial figures as of 1 February 2015, which was when the acquisition was finalised. The comparison figures given in brackets refer to the corresponding period of the previous year, unless otherwise stated.