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State revenue from corporate holdings totals EUR 1.6 billion

Prime Minister's Office
Publication date 3.4.2024 12.35
Press release

In 2023, the State earned a total of EUR 1.6 billion in revenue from its corporate holdings. The accrued dividend was especially boosted by Neste’s dividend and by the dividends paid by Solidium. The value of state holdings stood at around EUR 37 billion at the end of the year.

At the end of 2023, the total value of all state holdings was approximately EUR 37 (41) billion. The most significant single reason for the change in value was the decrease in Neste’s share price and the large weight of the company in the State's portfolio. 

“In 2023, the operating environment was characterised by high interest rates, inflation, weaker economic development and ongoing geopolitical tensions. Many state-owned companies focused on improving their operational efficiency and competitiveness,” says Maija Strandberg, Director General of the Government Ownership Steering Department.

“Although the energy market eventually evened out and energy prices fell year-on-year, there were strong fluctuations in the price of electricity. The transport sector saw an increase in demand and a rebound in results after the pandemic years.” 

The value of direct state holdings in listed companies was EUR 17.9 (22.4) billion, while the value of shareholdings in Solidium totalled EUR 7.1 (7.9) billion. According to the valuation of ownership steering, the total value of unlisted corporate holdings at the end of the year was EUR 11.6 (10.4) billion. 

At the end of 2023, the State had holdings in 73 companies with a total turnover of around EUR 131 (144) billion. The operating income stood at 7.9 (8.4) per cent. A total of around 298,000 (299,000) persons were employed by state-owned companies.

Key events in 2023

In autumn 2023, the State contributed EUR 318.6 million to Finnair's share issue. The State contributed to the share issue by offsetting the aggregate subscription price against a corresponding amount of the principal of the capital loan in accordance with the capital loan agreement concluded between the State and the company. Finnair repaid the remainder of the capital loan with interest, or a total of EUR 130.3 million.

The purpose of the share issue was to ensure Finnair’s ability to implement its strategy in the new operating environment following the pandemic and the war of aggression against Ukraine and to support the company’s long-term growth.

In autumn 2023, the Neste Corporation shares owned by Ilmastorahasto Oy (the Climate Fund) were transferred back to direct state ownership at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Ownership steering work in 2023 was characterised by the preparation of both the Government Programme and the Government Resolution on Ownership Policy. The final adoption of the resolution has been postponed until 2024. 

Science-based emission reduction targets becoming more common

As an owner, the State has several expectations for its companies regarding sustainability. The state monitors the fulfilment of these expectations at the portfolio level and engages in regular discussions with company management on sustainability issues. The State as an owner expects corporate sustainability to be an integral part of companies' strategies and remuneration. At the end of 2023, 80 per cent of state-owned companies had incorporated sustainability objectives into their management incentive schemes. 

“Environmental sustainability work at companies has developed favourably. An increasing number of state-owned companies, or 15 per cent, now have science-based emission reduction targets in place. More attention is also being paid to preserving biodiversity,” says Ministerial Adviser Katariina Sillander, who is responsible for developing sustainability in ownership steering. 
In 2023, 76 (73) per cent of state-owned companies reported their emissions to the State.

The carbon footprint of these companies in 2023 was 54 (48) million tonnes CO2e. Fortum’s total emissions saw a considerable decrease compared to the previous year, primarily due to the end of the consolidation of Russian business activities, whereas the emissions of state-owned companies rose overall due to increased scope 3 emissions at Neste and SSAB. The increase can also be attributed to improvements in the comprehensiveness of emissions reporting at companies.

Gender balance on boards of directors

For the State as an owner, it is important that the composition of the boards of directors of companies is balanced so that neither gender makes up less than 40 per cent of board members. Women accounted for 46 (47) per cent of the members of the boards of all state-owned companies*, whereas 28 (26) per cent of the chairs of boards were women. 

“We also monitor the proportion of women among CEOs and in management groups so we can get a broader picture of women’s opportunities to advance to senior management. In addition, it is important to look at the diversity of boards with regard to aspects other than gender,” says Maija Strandberg.

The percentage of women in the management groups of state-owned companies was 41 (41) per cent in 2023. At the end of 2023, 24 (22) per cent of the CEOs of state-owned companies were women.

More detailed information on the State’s corporate holdings in 2023 will be provided in the Government Annual Report, which will be published at the beginning of May.

Inquiries: Maija Strandberg, Director General, Ownership Steering Department, Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 50 407 8423; Katariina Sillander, Ministerial Adviser, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 50 569 0902.

* The gender distribution information for the boards and management of companies does not include companies owned through Solidium.

Figure corrected on 17 April at 14.00: a total of 298,000 (299,000) persons were employed by state-owned companies