VTT showed strong results for 2022, even though the world around us experienced unexpected changes. Customers feel that projects carried out with VTT achieve the goals set for them well and are ready to recommend collaboration with VTT to others. Financially, the year was as expected, which will enable continued investments in expertise and research infrastructure.
Commercial sales increased by 14%, and together with our customers we were able to build sustainable solutions to global challenges. Both domestic and foreign customers opened new research projects in the fields of climate change, energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, food sufficiency, and quantum and space technology. In 2022, quantum technology clearly took new steps in commercial terms, generating new research openings and customer relationships as both jointly-funded and direct assignments. Geopolitical instability and the rise of ambitious global technology goals increased the number of initiatives related to security and space.
“In the midst of crises, science and research have shown their importance in concrete terms: they create solutions and bring hope in an unpredictable world,” says President and CEO Antti Vasara. “The operating environment changed dramatically, and the expected post-pandemic economic growth dwindled due to the war, energy crisis and inflation.”
VTT was able to react quickly to changes in the operating environment, and the favourable development in service demand we have been experiencing in recent years continued. “The year 2022 was very good for VTT, and customer feedback remained excellent,” Vasara continues.
VTT Group's result of the financial year was EUR 4.4 million, comparable operating result remained profitable
In 2022, the Group accrued a net turnover of EUR 165 million (in 2021: EUR 154 million). Other operating income totalled at EUR 96 million (EUR 99 million), largely consisting of government grants. The parent company's net turnover totalled EUR 164 million (EUR 154 million), of which EUR 94 million was accrued from strategic research (EUR 87 million) and EUR 70 million from research based on commercial grounds (EUR 67 million). The parent company's net turnover increased in all sectors, most strongly in the domestic public and private sectors.
The Group's operating result amounted to EUR 5 million (EUR 14 million). The change is due, among other things, to lower revenue recognition of special items and increased costs, especially in travel. The Group's comparable operating result before special items remained profitable at EUR 2 million (EUR 7 million). The result of the financial year was EUR 4 million (EUR 12 million). The equity ratio improved slightly, from 69.5% in the previous year to 70.2%.
Two new spin-off companies, Onego Bio and The Warming Surfaces Company, were created through the VTT LaunchPad business incubator. They commercialise research and technology created at VTT: “The results of our work are thus also visible through these spin-off companies,” says Antti Vasara.
The business of one subsidiary, VTT SenseWay, was discontinued. The company was established in 2019 as a growth company to strengthen the competitiveness of companies through autonomous solutions. However, the company's operating environment changed significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine forced the company to change its direction and the growth prospects no longer met expectations.
In 2022, the parent company had a total of 1,190 customers, the majority of which represented the private sector, 680 from Finland and 325 from abroad. The remaining 185 customers were Finnish and foreign public sector actors. The public sector revenue accounted for 58% of the parent company's net turnover and private sector revenue for 42%, meaning that the shares remained the same as in 2021. The domestic revenue accounted for 57% and foreign revenue for 43% of the net turnover (55% and 45%). The parent company’s result of the financial year was EUR 3.7 million (EUR 11.6 million).
The impact of VTT's operations is illustrated by customer satisfaction, which has remained excellent: our customers' score for implementing projects is 4.2 (on a scale of 1 to 5). In turn, the net promoter score (NPS) is 70 (on a scale of -100 to +100).
Top professionals find their work meaningful in a diverse work community
Solutions developed with customers and partners are at the core of VTT's sustainability. It is equally important to ambitiously develop the sustainability of our own operations. “Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030. The goal is ambitious and requires determined efforts to reduce emissions,” says President and CEO Antti Vasara. “We have systematically taken our sustainability work forward, and it has become more comprehensive and goal-oriented than before. We have a diverse work community – for example, we represent more than 50 nationalities – and last year we launched VTT-wide work to further develop diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, we, for example, started to collect data on how self-funded and jointly-funded projects are targeted towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.”
VTT's estimated greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly as expected due to, among other things, the lifting of travel restrictions related to the pandemic: in 2022, greenhouse gas emissions totalled 5,786 CO2 equivalent tons, compared to 4,835 CO2 equivalent tons in the previous year. However, emissions are still only a fraction of the level in 2020 and before that, when they amounted to between 17,000 and 22,000 CO2 equivalent tons. The good development mainly derives from VTT having shifted to buying renewable electricity with a certificate of origin for its premises since the beginning of 2021. In 2021 and 2022, this kind of electricity accounted for 93% of electricity consumption. In addition, an increasing amount of VTT facilities use renewable or low-emission district heating.
“VTTers feel that they are doing meaningful work to solve global challenges, and the results of our personnel survey were very good,” says Antti Vasara. “Every day, the dedication of our personnel and the joy to learn and always discover something new make me convinced that we have all the capacity we need to continue responding to changes in our operating environment and achieve impressive impact. I would like to thank all VTTers and our customers and partners from the bottom of my heart for a successful year – it is good to continue from here!”
The results of 2022 have been compiled in an annual and sustainability report published on the VTT website. Sustainability reporting is included in the form of a GRI index table and a stakeholder chart. The financial statements (in Finnish) and a report on the tax footprint, management, salaries and remuneration have been published as annexes to the annual and sustainability report.
The particular mission of the parent company VTT as an independent and impartial non-profit research centre is to promote the wide-ranging utilisation and commercialisation of research and technology in commerce and society. In accordance with the Act on the limited liability company called VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, any profit of the company will be used in its entirety for the company's own research operations, competence development and dissemination of research results. At the end of the fiscal year, in addition to the parent company, VTT Group consisted of four fully-owned subsidiaries: VTT Ventures Ltd, VTT International Ltd, VTT SenseWay Oy and VTT Holding Oy.