In December 2020, the Graanul Invest Group was restructured, during which the group divided its activities into three areas: 1) pellet production and energy, 2) forestry and 3) biomaterials. The forestry group Graanul Mets OÜ together with its forestry affiliates and subsidiaries formed a separate new group, the holding company of which is the new company Graanul Assets OÜ. Graanul Biotech OÜ, a biochemistry start-up company, was also separated during the division and a new company, Graanul Tehnoloogia OÜ, was established as its holding company.
The 2020 Sustainability Report is the last to cover the divided sectors of Graanul Invest Group together in one report. Despite the covid difficulties, the sectors of the group continued to adhere to and promote their sustainability criteria.
In pellet production, we were able to continue production despite the difficult year, and due to the high demand for wood material, there was also enough wood waste from which to produce pellets. We must also add value to the lowest-quality biomass based on its valorisation potential to ensure efficiency and compliance with the requirements of the circular economy in the timber sector. At the same time, the use of pellets is one of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector. As an important indicator of sustainability, we were able to reduce the carbon footprint of our production for the third year in a row.
The forestry business line created a new generation of forest in 2020 on 795 hectares, of which 760 ha were created by planting and 35 ha by sowing. In 2020, we planted a total of 1,281,000 forest plants. Another important achievement of the forestry line was that in 2020, the forest companies of the group afforested 139 ha of decommissioned agricultural and grassland. The total carbon sequestration of our forest portfolio has also made a big leap due to the increase in the forest portfolio. At the ownership level of Graanul Invest Group, the whole group remains carbon negative.
The development of the biomaterials sector was impressive last year, and although many works and developments were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to successfully test the first phase of our technology.
In 2020, Graanul Invest and the factories of the group supported more than 60 different activities, most of which were related to promoting hobby and sports activities for young people in rural areas. In total, the Graanul Invest Group sponsored various events in the Baltics and the USA with almost 397,000 euros in 2020.
For the Graanul Invest Group, 2020 was a stable and successful year of production without major incidents despite the problems caused by the coronavirus.
The consolidated revenue of the group in 2020 amounted to 438.9 million euros (2019: 401.7 million euros), i.e. an increase of 9.3% compared to the previous year. The increase in revenue was primarily due to the increased sales turnover of the Woodville, US plant.
Sales of wood pellets accounted for the largest share of the group’s sales volume: 90.8%. Sales of electricity and heat decreased compared to the previous year due to a significant decrease in energy prices and accounted for 6.2% of total turnover. Export outside the Baltic states accounted for the major proportion of the pellet sales (> 98%). The main target markets were the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Italy.
The consolidated EBIDTA of the group in the reporting period was 120.5 million euros (93.3 million euros in 2019). The net profit of the group after tax in the reporting period was 73.8 million euros (48.2 million euros in 2019).
Due to the changed structure of the group, Graanul Invest also renewed its brand and website, which now focuses only on pellet production and energy.
We believe that tackling climate change has become more important than ever. We continue to drive our technology and the industry forward to accelerate the development of biomass science and deepen the understanding of the possibilities of using biomass.