In 2015, we focused on integration of our operations and the development of a unified corporate culture after having bought Lemminkäinen’s building services business in the previous year. We have made a big effort to harmonize our operating models and systems, and now we can say that the merger has been successfully completed. At the same time we have taken good care of our clients and have been involved in major projects around Finland.
Significant improvement in EBITDA
Are’s EBITDA continued to improve. However, the operating result was weakened by non-recurring items and amortisation of goodwill from a large acquisition realised in 2014. The biggest improvement was achieved in Building Services Contracting in Southern Finland, where we were involved in several large projects, such as the Western Metro Extension, or Länsimetro. We also managed to make an excellent result in Property Services. We have been able to increase the number of property maintenance contracts as well as the share of negotiated contracts in contracting services.
We succeed together with our clients
Our clients have been satisfied with the cooperation with us, as demonstrated by client satisfaction surveys and the long history of cooperation. For Technopolis, for instance, we have already built nine Are Sensus® systems in their buildings, which is proof of the comfort felt by the occupants of Sensus-equipped buildings, as well as of the energy savings achieved. We have also extended many long-term maintenance service agreements in order to ensure flawless operation of our clients’ properties.
Future outlook brightest in construction
The year 2016 seems to be bringing some relief to the construction business. During this year, construction is expected to have an upward turn after four years of decline. Building services will follow, and we expect the number of orders to increase towards the end of the year, thanks to a few large projects and increased renovation activity. We believe that the demand for property maintenance services will remain stable.
In the public sector there are a lot of aging properties that need to be renovated. We intend to be involved in the development of public buildings to meet modern requirements in terms of, say, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. In addition, systematic property maintenance can achieve significant cost savings in municipal buildings.
The past year has been a success, and I would like to thank our clients, partners and shareholders for their cooperation. Special thanks also to our employees for the well-managed projects and maintenance services as well as for the harmonization projects so successfully carried out beside our normal work.
President and CEO