Risks and uncertainties
Risk management is an essential part of Lemminkäinen’s business operations. Its main target is to ensure the achievement of the strategic and operational targets with the best possible results, including the continuity of the operations under changing conditions. The company’s risk management is based on the risk management policy approved by the Board of Directors. A more detailed description of risk management can be found on the company’s website http://www.lemminkainen.com/Lemminkainen/Investors/
Uncertainty in the global economy and financial markets may have a negative effect on Lemminkäinen’s operations, performance, financial position and sources of capital. The company’s business operations are sensitive to new construction cycles in Finland in particular. Lemminkäinen manages these kinds of risks structurally by distributing its business operations throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic countries and Russia.
Change management, successful recruitment and skilled and motivated personnel play a key role in ensuring that operations are in line with the targets set, yield results and comply with business-related laws and regulations and good business practices. The business segments develop their operating models to increase agility, cost efficiency and operational consistency.
In Russia, the weakened economic situation, the exchange rate fluctuations of the rouble and the prolonged political uncertainty or the significant escalation in the sanctions between the EU and Russia could have a negative effect on the company’s business operations. Furthermore, the political culture, legislation, its interpretation and procedures of the authorities in Russia compared to Finland, in addition to the uncertainty of the legal system, administrative procedures and interpretation of law enforcement mechanisms, as well as changes in them, may result in significant risks. Lemminkäinen has improved the efficiency of housing sales in Russia, and in order to maintain a moderate risk level in Russia, the company will not start new development projects in building construction in Russia for the time being.
In the residential and commercial development and construction projects, Lemminkäinen is exposed to sales and price risks due to the market situation continuing to be challenging and due to the full responsibility over the entire project, starting with plot acquisition. The company’s target is to actively manage and monitor the risk related to the capital tied up in unsold completed apartments and other assets. Lemminkäinen takes market changes and risks into account when assessing whether to start new development and construction projects. The company only starts new housing construction if a sufficient number of units have been reserved in advance. The number of unsold completed apartments is kept to a minimum. Commercial development projects are usually sold to property investors in the early stages of construction, thereby reducing sales risks.
Lemminkäinen’s financial performance depends on successful permit, contract and project management, which involves risks related to, for instance, project pricing, use of resources, project planning and scheduling, ability to procure raw materials at competitive prices, cost control, change management as well as handling of claims for damages. In addition, project-related legal proceedings may have a negative effect on the company’s financial performance. Lemminkäinen continually develops its contractual expertise and project management practices during the tender and execution stage. In addition, project tracking systems and steering models are being renewed.
Fluctuations in the price of raw materials may have an impact on financial performance. Lemminkäinen’s biggest individual outsourced raw material is bitumen, and its price largely depends on the world market price of oil. The company manages the bitumen price risk with contractual terms and derivatives.
Furthermore, changes in the weather may cause fluctuations in the income. Weather conditions influence especially the lengths of the Paving segment’s paving and mineral aggregates businesses working seasons, which may have an effect on the company’s profit and its timing.
In its business operations, Lemminkäinen is exposed to financial risks, mainly funding, liquidity, foreign exchange rate, interest rate and credit risks, and to impairment risk of tangible and intangible assets. Management of financial risks is based on Lemminkäinen’s treasury policy, which defines the operating principles and division of responsibility in financial risk management and funding activities. External events may also negatively impact the availability of funding, its costs and/or repayment plans. The company seeks to ensure the availability of funding, optimise the use of liquid assets in funding its business operations and to minimise interest and other finance costs. Lemminkäinen protects itself from currency exchange risks primarily through operative means. If necessary, transaction risks are hedged with the aid of foreign currency loans and currency derivatives. In 2015, approximately 34% of the company’s net sales were generated in functional currencies other than the euro, the major currencies being the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kronas as wells as the Russian rouble. Lemminkäinen does not hedge translation risk. The translation difference of our shareholders’ equity is mainly related to the Russian business operations.
A more detailed description of risk management can be found on the company’s website. A more detailed account of the financial risks is provided in the notes to the annual financial statements.