VTT's results for the second year of the pandemic were excellent both financially and in terms of the impact of its operations. We continued to pay special attention to the health security of VTTers, and our operations continued without disturbances.
Commercial sales increased by 10%, and we were able to build sustainable future together with our customers. Finland's first quantum computer was built in Otaniemi, and egg white is produced without chickens in a laboratory by means of cellular agriculture. VTT published its updated strategy in January, and its first sustainability programme was completed at the end of the year.
“The prolonged pandemic has challenged the operating environment, and perhaps this is why interest in solutions based on science and technology has grown globally. This was reflected in a significant increase in new customer contracts at VTT. As a whole, 2021 was a very strong year for VTT, and customer feedback on the impact of our work was positive,” says President & CEO Antti Vasara.
“The impact of our work arises from the ability of companies and actors in society to use our expertise in their activities,” Vasara continues. “According to customer surveys, this is the case, and I am also very pleased about how meaningful VTTers feel their work to be.”
VTT Group's result of the financial year was EUR 12 million, comparable operating result remained profitable
The good financial development of VTT Group continued. In 2021, the Group accrued a net turnover of EUR 154 million (EUR 149 million in 2020). Other operating income totalled at EUR 99 million (EUR 95 million in 2020), and it largely consisted of government grants. The net turnover increased especially due to the increase in foreign private sector revenue. Of the parent company's net turnover, EUR 87 million was accrued from strategic research (2020: EUR 85 million) and EUR 67 million from research based on commercial grounds (2020: EUR 64 million).
The Group's operating result increased from EUR 11 million in 2020 to EUR 14 million in 2021. The improvement in the result was due to, for example, the increase in revenue and the continued savings made in the operating expenses due to the pandemic, especially in travel. The Group's comparable operating result before special items has remained profitable since 2020: it was EUR 8.6 million then, and last year it was EUR 7.3 million. The result of the financial year further improved from EUR 9.6 million to EUR 12.1 million. The equity ratio remained at 69.5%.
In 2021, the parent company had a total of 1,160 customers, of which 735 were Finnish private sector customers, 270 were foreign private sector customers and 155 domestic and international public sector customers. The domestic revenue accounted for 55% of the parent company’s net turnover and foreign revenue for 45% (same figures at Group level). The parent company’s result of the financial year was EUR 11.6 million (EUR 11.5 million in 2020).
The impact of VTT's operations is illustrated by customer satisfaction, which has remained excellent: our customers' score for achieving project goals is 4.3 (on a scale of 1 to 5). In turn, the net promoter score (NPS) is 69 (on a scale of -100 to +100).
Sustainability is at the core of the new strategy
In January, we published an updated strategy for the period 2021–2025. Our goal is to create impact by means of science and technology and to offer solutions to challenges that are important for society. We want to create new business opportunities and sustainable growth.
Sustainability has more focus in the strategy than before: “Our goal is to minimise the negative impacts of our operations (so-called footprint), maximise the positive impacts (so-called handprint) and develop sustainable solutions,” says Antti Vasara. “Sustainability is an integral part of our operations, and global challenges also require increasingly significant solutions. Our customers have a broad outlook on sustainability, and they look beyond COVID-19: they want to build sustainable business in the long term.” At the end of the year, VTT completed its first sustainability programme, which is based on the priorities of our corporate responsibility: sustainable foundation, thriving professionals, empowered customers and resilient society.
One of VTT’s strategic choices is to build the world's most meaningful place to work. In 2021, we launched a systematic development of our corporate culture, as the corporate culture plays a major role in the implementation of our strategy. At the end of the year, we also renewed our values: respect, together, passion and forerunner.
“VTT's position is stable despite the prolonged and exceptional global situation,” says President & CEO Antti Vasara. “Even though the world is facing serious crises, even wars, we are committed to doing our best to make the future better than today. Now, if ever, it is important to invest in the resilience of society and the renewal of companies and to turn the ongoing transformation into a new leap towards sustainable growth.”
The results of 2021 have been compiled in an annual report published on the VTT website. It also includes a sustainability report 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 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.