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6.3.2024 | Better urban living

A strong balance sheet and diversesources of financing provide protectionin an uncertain market situation

Most of the year under review was characterised by financial market uncertainty and rising interest rates. Indeed, the availability and price of financing were among the main topics of dialogue with our various stakeholders. We have maintained a strong balance sheet, which has protected us from the challenges arising from the operating environment. A strong and well-managed balance sheet is a vital aspect of the implementation of our strategy, and we have continued our consistent long-term efforts in that area.

We have used hedging to make the most of our financing fixed-rate. At the end of the year, the hedging ratio of our loan portfolio was 93% and the average interest rate fixing period was 2.9 years. This has meant that our interest expenses have not grown in line with the rise in market interest rates.

We are committed to maintaining our investment grade credit rating, which is why we launched a saving programme in August. The programme lays out measures aimed at maintaining the company’s profitability and ensuring the availability of financing at competitive prices. The saving programme progressed according to plan during the latter part of the year. In December, Moody’s confirmed it is keeping the company’s credit rating of Baa2 unchanged.

It is important for us to maintain access to diverse funding sources. During the year, we signed three credit agreements with Nordic banks to cover the loans maturing in 2023 and our financing needs for 2024. The financing arrangements are proof of our strong banking relationships.

In April, we signed an unsecured credit agreement of EUR 75 million with Aktia Bank Plc. The loan was used for the refinancing of a EUR 50 million credit agreement that matured in summer 2023, as well as for the Group’s general financing needs.

In May, we signed a secured EUR 425 million syndicated credit facility agreement with six partner banks, which was used for the refinancing of loans maturing in 2023. In October, we signed another secured EUR 425 million term loan facility agreement with five partner banks. The loan facility covers our financing needs in 2024, including the bond maturing in June. The latter of the two loans remained unwithdrawn at the end of the year. The margins of both of the syndicated credit facilities are linked to our key sustainability targets.

Our liquidity was good at the end of the year, and we have no significant financing needs in the near term. Our cash and liquid financial assets totaled EUR 18.3 million at the end of the year. In addition, we have committed credit facilities of EUR 275 million and an uncommitted credit facility of EUR 5 million that were unused at the end of the period.