In the third quarter of 2022, we continued to promote our strategy that focuses on renewable energy, real estate and bioindustry. Both the private asset management business and Garantia’s guaranty insurance operations developed well, and the Group’s continuing earnings increased by 14%. Our operating profit was EUR 18.5 million, corresponding to a profit margin of 67%. Operating profit was increased by a profit of EUR 14.0 million recognized from the sale of Ficolo Ltd and the related exit of Taaleri Datacenter Ky.
Operationally, we progressed according to plan in the third quarter despite the changes and uncertainties in the operating environment. Our strategy works well also in the current situation. Europe’s desire to break away from Russian gas, oil and coal will increase the demand for renewable energy and for bioindustry products, which in the long term will support our private asset management business.
The Private Asset Management segment’s continuing earnings grew by 10% and the operating profit grew by 56% to EUR 7.0 million due to the performance fee connected to the exit of Taaleri Datacenter Ky.
During the third quarter, the renewable energy business focused on advancing projects of the Taaleri SolarWind II fund that were in the construction phase and on preparations for the Taaleri SolarWind III fund announced yesterday. The fund is the seventh Taaleri product to comply with Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. The future project flow of SolarWind III is based on our project development portfolio, which included 17 projects at the end of the review period. Our goals for the new fund are ambitious: we are aiming to double the size of Taaleri SolarWind II, which was around EUR 350 million.
The real estate business carried out several acquisitions in the third quarter, both for Aktia’s special investment funds in its portfolio management and for the Taaleri Housing Fund VIII and Taaleri Rental Home funds, which invest in rental housing. In September, Taaleri Housing Fund VIII carried out a significant portfolio transaction worth approximately EUR 85 million for three residential properties.
The first fund of the bioindustry business, Taaleri Bioindustry I, reached a size of over EUR 100 million in its second round of funding and continues fundraising backed up by strong demand. The fund’s anchor investor, the Finnish Climate Fund, made an additional EUR 5 million investment in the fund in accordance with its option. The tall oil refinery of Taaleri’s associated company Fintoil, which is reported under bioindustry business, was opened in September, and its start of operations has proceeded as planned. The first batches of high-quality distilled tall oil have already been delivered to customers.
In the Strategic Investments segment, Garantia’s net income from insurance operations increased by 14% from the corresponding period to EUR 4.4 million. Garantia’s net income from investment operations recovered from the particularly weak previous quarter, and operating profit was EUR 4.3 million. Once again, the combined ratio describing the profitability of insurance operations was excellent at 29.0%.
Sustainable development is at the heart of Taaleri’s strategy. We are a pioneer among private asset management operators, as we already manage eight funds that comply with either Article 8 or Article 9 of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). This has required, and will continue to require, ambitious goals, strong sustainability expertise and a strong commitment to the sustainability of funds. We also signed the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative, in which we, both as a company and for our assets under management, commit to the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. Our interim target is to manage 75% of the assets under management in accordance with the initiative by 2030. We will report annually on our progress starting next year, and we will ambitiously assess opportunities to accelerate the timetable to reach our net zero target.