Taaleri’s result for the second half of 2020 was strong, driven by the Energy and Insurance segments. From July to December, the Group’s income increased by 18.5 per cent to EUR 43.3 million and operating profit by 46 per cent to EUR 14.8 million. The result was improved especially by investment returns, which strengthened towards the end of the year.
All in all, we can be satisfied with Taaleri’s year in a challenging operating environment. The Group’s income increased slightly to EUR 69.5 million, and operating profit increased to EUR 17.6 million, representing 25 per cent of income.
For the Wealth Management segment, the second half of the year was weaker than in the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the trend took a positive turn towards the end of the year. Continuing earnings from as-sets under management grew, but continuing earnings other than those based on assets under management re-mained below the previous year’s level. During July–December, assets under management took an upward turn, and in the last quarter sales increased to the best figures of the year. The segment’s expense awareness remained good in the second half of the year.
I am especially pleased that in the SFR survey, institutional investors chose our wealth management as the best in Finland in challengers-category. Particularly, investors appreciated our customer service, vision and resources.
Launched in June, our digital wealth management service specialising in impact investment has been well re-ceived by existing and new customers. The service offers all investors the opportunity to invest in new projects benefiting the environment and society through a widely-spread ETF portfolio.
In accordance with our strategy, we continued the development of our real estate business into a separate operational unit. Our goal is to significantly increase the assets under management of real estate funds by seeking growth in new scalable products and expanding the investor base. During the financial year we launched our first special investment fund that invests in real estate, called Taaleri Real Estate. The fund started its investment activities towards the end of the year by acquiring rental homes, which are among the safest real estate categories in the COVID-19 market environment.
The Energy segment had a strong year and its continuing earnings doubled from last year. The continuing earnings for the second half of the year increased by 57 per cent to EUR 5.1 million, and the operating result showed a profit. The SolarWind II -fund, which invests in industrial-scale wind and solar power plants, reached EUR 320 million in investment commitments in November. The fund has been invested in by many major domestic and international institutional investors, and I am very proud of the international breakthrough achieved by our skilled Energy team. The fund will remain open to investors until June 2021, and its maximum size is EUR 400 million.
In the Insurance segment, Garantia again achieved a very strong result. In the second half of the year, the company’s income increased by 26 per cent to EUR 13.6 million and operating profit by 39 per cent to EUR 9.2 million. The combined ratio for the financial year was 37 per cent and the excellent results were due to both successful new exposure, low claims incurred and low operating expenses. The investment returns increased towards the end of the year and was reasonable in relation to the chosen risk level. Garantia started offering mortgage guarantees with a new banking partner. The issuance of guarantees to OP Financial Group’s mortgage customers began at the beginning of October.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, although vaccines promise to alleviate the situation this year. I would like to warmly thank our staff for their committed and hard work and our customers for their trust in us during these exceptional times. Despite the unpredictability of the operating environment, we are determined to continue developing and implementing the company’s strategy. Our goal this year too is to offer our customers profitable investments for the benefit of the environment and society alike.