2005 was a successful year for Technopolis Plc both financially and in terms of operations. The companys profit improved significantly, and there was a clear rise in net sales. Technopolis also expanded its operations considerably. Pertti Huuskonen, President and CEO of Technopolis, characterizes 2005 as a year of strong growth and development.
Mr. Huuskonen highlights the importance of several large investment decisions, the acquisition of the Kareltek technology center in Lappeenranta, the memorandum of understanding with the City of St. Petersburg on the construction of a technology center in St. Petersburg, and the share issue and related share sales executed by the company, with which it strengthened its equity to assets ratio and obtained resources for new investments.
Technopolis net sales grew to EUR 31.7 million in 2005. As the corresponding figure in the previous year was EUR 28.8 million, the increase was 10 percent. The companys profit after taxes rose to EUR 12.7 million from EUR 7.3 million in 2004. This was an increase of 73.8 percent.
Earnings per share were EUR 0.38 in 2005, up from EUR 0.26 in 2004. The companys Board of Directors proposes that a dividend of EUR 0.13 per share be distributed. In the previous year, the dividend was EUR 0.12. The proposed dividends would total EUR 4.7 million, representing an increase of 32 percent.
The companys success was reflected in a rise in its share price and market capitalization. In 2005, Technopolis market capitalization climbed from EUR 93 million to EUR 179 million. The interest shown in the company by international investors also rose significantly. At the end of 2005, more than 40 percent of the company was under foreign ownership.
In Finland, Technopolis operates in the Oulu region, Vantaa, Espoo and Lappeenranta. In Oulu, the company expanded its operations by commencing construction of the first two stages of a technology center to be erected in the Oulu city center. Moreover, the company implemented the second stage of its technology center at Kontinkangas. Technopolis also purchased Kemiras Oulu Research Centre property.
In Vantaa, the Technopolis technology center neighboring the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport was expanded in 2005 by the completion of a third building stage. Due to favorable demand, the implementation of the fourth stage of the center also began during 2005.
Technopolis also extended its operations to an entirely new region, when it acquired the Kareltek technology center in Lappeenranta. The Kareltek acquisition brought the company customers from new sectors and expanded the geographical coverage of its own operations. Moreover, Kareltek brought Technopolis additional competence in dealing with the Russian markets.
The company is, in fact, planning an expansion to Russia. Technopolis is currently investigating the potential for commencing technology center activities in St. Petersburg, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of St. Petersburg on the establishment of a technology center. Under the memorandum of understanding, the City of St. Petersburg will look into the possibilities to provide Technopolis with land in the Neudorf region to the west of the St. Petersburg city center. In November, the region was accepted as one of Russias six areas with SEZ (Special Economic Zone) status.
Technopolis and the City of St. Petersburg next intend to draw up a project investment contract which should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2006.
Technopolis has signed a co-operation agreement with Tehnopol, a technology center organization in Tallinn, Estonia. The aim of this co-operation is to develop the Tallinn technology center into an operating environment for Finnish and international companies. Technopolis is negotiating with Tehnopol regarding the possibility of establishing a joint venture to carry out technology center operations.