2021 was an excellent year for Pontos. We improved in all central areas, and our growth was significantly faster than our long-term forecast. Despite COVID-19, we kept our eyes on our strategy: in the development of sustainable businesses and vibrant cities.
According the UN, a total of 2.5 billion people will move to cities by 2050. The real estate and construction industry already produces approximately 40% of all CO2 emissions. Curbing climate change requires measures and long-term collaboration. The built environment has a central role in preserving the Earth’s bearing capacity.
Renewing the real estate and construction industry calls for courage to try something new and the will to change familiar practices. Pontos wants to find solutions and solvers for mitigating climate change. We help companies in the industry grow by offering capital, sector-specific expertise and support for developing business operations. With systematic leadership, we can promote solutions and operating ways to advance carbon neutrality in all our companies and properties.
Pontos is a long-term investor, so we do not speculate on economic cycles. We choose our strategic core themes through long-term planning and stand behind them, despite economic cycles. Cycles can slow or accelerate the implementation of our plans, and sometimes they blur outlooks more than usual. Yet climate change, for example, is a theme we need to keep our eyes on – now and in the future.
Our investment portfolio reflected the effects of COVID-19 and investments in important projects
Pontos’ investment portfolio developed very well in 2021. COVID-19 continued to result in many limitations, but the market also began to strongly recover from its negative effects. Many business functions and asset values showed exceptional growth. The pandemic continued to limit physical gatherings, which accelerated the change in the working ways of organizations.
Among our private equity portfolio, leading service provider in car industry, Valmet Automotive, continued its strong growth in battery operations, reaching a record result. Cloud service and data center company Ficolo continued its strong development, and in April 2022, we signed an agreement on the sales of the company. The transaction still awaits final confirmation, but upon its completion, will provide a good stepping stone for the company towards even more ambitious growth plans. Real estate technology company R8 Technologies operates over a million floor square meters and saved 15 million kilos of CO2 emissions.
Our real estate investments clearly reflected the negative effects of COVID-19, especially at Viru Keskus in Tallinn. Quarantines, restrictions on assembly and travel limitations made people move around less in city centers. This also affected all the hotel projects in our portfolio.