CEO’s review

Ease of service, safe residence and cooperation with residents helped us reach our targets

During the review period, demand for rental apartments was high and occupancy rates remained excellent. Our investments in new construction have met customer demand, and we will continue to invest in areas with long-term demand for rental housing. There is a need for more rental housing, especially in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

The Eurozone crisis and tighter solvency rules for banks were reflected in our sector during the period under review. However, VVO continued to attract investors, as shown by efficient bank financing and oversubscription of a secured bond last spring.

The level of our investments was approximately EUR 220 million in 2013. We increased the amount of privately financed rental housing in portfolio, both through property acquisition and new construction. We will continue to strengthen these investments in the future.

We will also be able to improve the future allocation of our repair construction resources with the help of regular maintenance checks introduced in 2013. The cost-efficiency of real estate maintenance and cleaning has improved through re-tendering and revised supplier contracts.

By the end of 2013, we had 1,020 rental apartments under construction in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Järvenpää, Hämeenlinna, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Jyväskylä. During the review period, the construction of 252 privately financed apartments was completed in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Kerava and Hyvinkää. Our intention is to meet the demand for rental apartments in urban growth areas and increase the number of rental apartments in areas with good services and transport connections.

Despite the general economic downturn, we succeeded in taking significant steps towards our goal of becoming the most desirable and most efficient landlord in Finland. Our operations have been guided by our efforts to strengthen good customer experience and to boost customer satisfaction, along with continued development of customer service. As an example of this, we were the first company in our industry to launch a totally electronic lease agreement process, which has simplified and further improved our delivery at the customer service point.

One of our strategic steps was to establish a dedicated Customer Service Centre, enabling better and more consistent customer service. Our development efforts were guided by close communication and cooperation with residents and the Board of Residents. The strategic targets include continuous development of versatile services as part of our commitment to being a safe landlord.

The economic downturn seems to have levelled off, and low growth is expected to continue during 2014. The demand and occupancy rates for rental apartments are forecast to remain at a good level. We continue to develop our operations to increase customer focus as part of our mission to offer ease of doing business, flexible services and safe living.

Key factors in VVO’s success are its involved and professional personnel and a fair corporate culture. I would like to express my warmest thanks to all VVO personnel and stakeholders. You have made this financial year a great success! I look forward to continuing the journey with you in the coming year.

Jani Nieminen