Finnish Gasum Sees Slow Growth in Demand
Finnish state utility Gasum has pushed back its demand growth plans as Covid-19 eroded its Q3 revenues, it said October 30. Group operating profit, on revenues of €448.9mn, was €12.8mn, down 43.1% year on year thanks to lower gas prices and the weak environment, but the margin was only 0.4 percentage points down, at 2.8%. This was in line with company expectations.
The balance sheet total came to €1.3 ($1.5)bn, up from €1.1bn and the equity-debt ratio was 38.8%, down from 45.2% the year before. The major change since last year has been the acquisition of two LNG businesses from German Linde – including the Nauticor bunkering fleet – and the separation of its gas transmission business from gas supply.
Gasum CEO Johanna Lamminen said there was steady demand for gas solutions but the growth targets were hit by the pandemic. She said: "Lockdowns caused us to push back with bringing our new plants into use and at the same time our customers have also delayed their projects, which in turn has impacted the start-up of Gasum’s deliveries."
Among its triumphs were a contract with Norwegian reinforced steel manufacturer Celsa Armeringsstal to supply LNG from its Tornio terminal. "Switching to LNG will contribute to the company’s target of lowering carbon dioxide emissions originating in its operations," she said.
Road transport business is also up: "We continued to expand the Nordic gas filling station network to serve heavy-duty transport. We opened gas filling stations in Gothenburg, Sweden and Lieto, Finland. Our expanding gas filling station network is creating interest in gas from growing numbers of actors."
The Finnish government also owns Fortum, which in turn is the majority shareholder in German Uniper, meaning there is large overlap between the two companies activities, including the transport fuel supply operations. However the government has not announced plans to merge them.