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 sets out that companies with special state mandate should strive for financially profitable operations.
The cost-efficiency of Finnfund’s operations was assessed in 2016 by comparing operating 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, which is why it is also calculated as a five-year moving average. Other indicators include 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 2016 Annual Report.
Under the Income Tax Act (30 December 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 its accounts for 2016, Finnfund reported total tax payments of EUR 17,937.38. These consisted of capital gains taxes and withholding taxes paid to target countries as follows:
|India||Capital gains tax||3,292.47|
|Kenya||Capital gains tax||5,752.45|
|Turkey||Withholding tax on wages||2,480.14|
|Panama||Withholding tax on dividends||6,412.32|
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.
The taxes paid by project companies in the countries where they operate are among the development impacts that Finnfund seeks. Such taxes promote the public sector in developing countries and assist in providing services for their citizens. For this reason, and because of its exemption from tax in Finland, Finnfund has no incentive for active tax planning and does not do this. Finnfund is not allowed nor does it wish to promote in its operations any aggressive tax planning or tax evasion in the investee companies either.
Due to the nature of Finnfund’s operations, the need for operational investments is very small and mainly consists of capital expenditure.
In 2016, Finnfund made 21 new investment decisions in target countries totalling EUR 152 million.
Finnfund mostly refrains from providing financial support or making donations 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 February 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 per 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 has 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 that the procedure is considered justified in the current situation of the reporting company.