As stipulated in the Finnfund Act, the purpose of the company is not to generate a profit for the shareholders. However, in accordance with the state ownership policy, the company must operate on a self-supporting basis, covering its operational costs and risks through the profits it generates. The state ownership policy defines profitability and cost-efficiency as the goals of the State as an owner. It also says that companies entrusted with special state assignments should strive for financially profitable operations.
The cost-efficiency of Finnfund’s operations is assessed by comparing operational costs to investment assets and the value of investment decisions. Finnfund’s profitability is assessed primarily by looking at return on equity. The nature of the operations may cause return on equity to vary significantly from year to year, and for this reason return on equity is assessed also as a five-year moving average. Other indicators include impairment losses and the debt-equity ratio.
A detailed report on Finnfund’s efficiency and profitability can be found in the Report of the Board of Directors published in the Financials section of the 2014 Annual Report.
Under the Income Tax Act (30.12.1992/1535), Finnfund is a corporation exempted from income tax, and therefore the company does not pay tax on its profits to the State of Finland. In accordance with the act, Finnfund does not distribute dividends to shareholders but reinvests all profits in line with its development policy mission.
Taxes paid in the countries where it operates depend on local laws and in some places on international tax treaties. Substantial payments are generally the consequence of taxable capital gains at project exit. No such capital gains arose in 2014.
In its financial statement for 2014, Finnfund reported tax payments totalling EUR 0.04 million, consisting of withholding taxes and stamp duty in Kenya, China and Turkey.
Numerous companies financed by Finnfund are major direct or indirect taxpayers in the countries where they operate. In 2013, for example, companies financed directly or indirectly by Finnfund reported payments of taxes and similar levies totalling about EUR 434 million. Figures for 2014 are not yet available.
The purpose of the company is not to generate a profit for the shareholders, and it does not distribute its profits to the owners in the form of dividends or other yields.
Due to the nature of the company’s operations, the need for investments related to its operations is very small and mainly consists of capital expenditure.
In 2014, Finnfund made new investment decisions worth EUR 115 million to the target countries. The number of new decisions made was 23 in total of 25 investments.
Finnfund mostly refrains from providing financial support or making donations for the public good and does not engage in any activities regarded as sponsorship.
Finnfund’s financial statements and the Report of the Board of Directors are prepared in accordance with the Finnish Accounting Standards (FAS) and the profit and loss account and balance sheet formats of regular companies. Finnfund is not a credit institution referred to in the Act on Credit Institutions (9.2.2007/121) and does not use the profit and loss account or balance sheet formats intended for credit institutions. Since 2013 Finnfund has presented an operational analysis in its Annual Report.
The company reports on its financial position three times a year. The annual financial statements are published in the Annual Report on the company’s website after being adopted by the General Meeting of Shareholders. At the same time, the company announces the reporting and accounting principles it followed in the preparation of the financial statements as well as any changes in the principles. In addition, the company prepares two interim reports for internal use, for the periods January to April and January to August. The interim reports are not audited or published.
Finnfund generally requires its investee companies to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in their reporting in order to ensure reliability and comparability.
Under certain circumstances, Finnfund may accept financial statements and other financial reports prepared in accordance with the local standards of the target country, provided that there is no reason to doubt their reliability and the procedure is considered justified in the current situation of the reporting company.