Finnish Business 2019
Summary
Special project "Finnish Business 2019" is a result of the annual rating of "The leading Finnish companies in Russia" conducted by Fontanka.ru. It is a continuation of the projects "Business with a Finnish DNA", 2016 and "Finnish Business leaders", 2017 and " Finnish Business - In the expectation of new heroes", 2018.
More than 900 companies with Finnish capital work in Russia. TOP 30 are the largest ones by revenue (more than 1 billion roubles per year) as well as the largest investors. Evaluation of their financial status, market presence and assets and investment strategy provide an indication of the situation and outlook of Finnish business in Russia.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE RESEARCH
Large Finnish companies continue to leave the Russian market. Neste (revenue in 2018 - 22,1 bln roubles) signed an agreement to sell the business to Tatneft. Ruukki (revenue in 2018 - 2,7 bln roubles) was sold to Slavatneftemash. Stockmann (revenue in 2018 - 1,8 bln roubles) was sold to PPF.
Some companies are thinking about leaving the market or reducing the presence. Atria (revenue in 2018 - 5,6 bln roubles) is exploring an opportunity to sell its business. SRV (revenue in 2018 - 0,45 bln roubles) reached an agreement to sell the Pearl Plaza shopping mall to Sberbank. YIT (revenue in 2018 - 20,3 bln roubles) will have left the markets of Moscow and Rostov-on-Don by the end of 2020. Tikkurila (revenue in 2018 - 11 bln roubles) decided not to build a new plant in Petersburg.
Finnish business in Russia is growing faster than Russian economy, but the growth is slowing down. In 2018 the total revenue of the 30 largest Finnish companies in Russia amounted to 288.6 billion rubles, a 4.5% increase from 2017. In comparison, the growth rate was estimated to be 7% in 2017. The Russian GDP increased by 2.3% in 2018 and by 1.5% in 2017.
Most industries showed a positive trend in 2018. Growth of Retail, Service industry and Distribution and logistics segments was moderate (on average 4%). Manufacturing accelerated the growth significantly (9%). The decrease of Real estate and development segment (-25%) was influenced by YIT negative results. In comparison, in 2017 all industries showed positive results.
Manufacturing continued to strengthen its position of being the main branch of Finnish business in Russia; it accounted for 70% (203,5 billion rubles) of revenue of the TOP 30 leading companies against 67% a year earlier.
Retail returned to its position of the second-largest industry (12% of TOP 30 revenue against 11% in 2017). In total, Finnish retail companies from TOP 30 earned 33,7 billion rubles in Russia. As Neste is leaving the market, a sharp decline is expected in this segment by the end of this year.
A new industry appeared in the TOP-30 this year service companies. For now its share is only 1%, but we expect this segment to strengthen next year.
TOP-30 companies are represented in all Russian regions, except for North Caucasus Federal District. Geographical presence is narrowing. Tikkurila exited Central federal district as closed its plant in Stariy Oskol. YIT will have le theft markets of Moscow and Rostov-on-Don by the end of 2020.
Russia remains attractive to Finnish companies due to its size of the market, however low rates of economic growth and high competition make them take other directions for international expansion. The volume of investments in Russia among the TOP 30 Finnish companies was €205,6 million in 2018. In 2019 decrease by 30% is expected.
Finnish companies in the consumer market still have been being pressed by low customer demand. They lose to Russian competitors in the price war. As a result, investment projects are postponed (Fazer, Tikkurila), or development is slower than planned (Prisma, Yliopiston Apteekki).
The manufacturing sector continues to attract investments. It takes 84% of the whole amount of TOP 30. The 6 of 7 largest projects of Finnish companies in Russian market are investments in new enterprises and the modernization and expansion of existing ones. The 7th is an investment in development. Technopolis is going to spend 30 million euros to build the 3rd stage of Technopolis Pulkovo business center.
ABOUT THE METHODOLOGY OF THE RESEARCH
The rating "The leading Finnish companies 2019" was conducted by Fontanka.ru. This is a list of 30 largest by revenue companies with Finnish capital which are running their business in Russia. We also estimated the dynamics of their revenue, investment activity (size of investments for the last year and announced investment projects), geographical presence and a quantity of key assets.
Data received from financial reporting, information provided by the companies and expert estimations served as a source of the research. The respondents were Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Consulate-General of Finland in St. Petersburg, East Office of Finnish Industries.
In case of discrepancy of the revenue data in the reporting under the Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) of the Russian legal entities and the data on the Russian subdivisions in the financial statements of the parent companies, preference was given to the latter. Recalculation of their revenue to rubles was made at the average exchange rate of the Central Bank for 2018 (73,96 roubles for 1 euro). The operation sector of each company was determined by their main type of activity. Their geographical presence was determined by the presence of key assets of their main activity.
Fontanka.ru is a well-known electronic mass media company in the North-West region of Russia, where you can find not only news from St. Petersburg but also the latest news of the day, and all the important and interesting events that take place in Russia and in the world as well. Our audience are business leaders and politicians, civil servants and hundreds of thousands of citizens.