interim report Q1/2014
This year, we will continue our investment efforts and further improve our services. We aim to continue investment aimed at increasing the number of rental apartments, particularly in growth centres.
During the review period, VVO invited construction companies to bid for rental apartment construction projects worth a hundred million euros. This bears witness to how willing we are to increase the rental apartment supply, particularly in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area but also in other growth centres. We also want to make our voice heard in the debate on town planning and, should the construction projects materialise, aim to have an impact on Finland's employment rates in the current economic environment.
VVO celebrated its 45th anniversary on 29 January 2014. During the years since our establishment, we have promoted housing innovations, developed various types of accommodation and influenced the debate on rental housing. Established in 1969, VVO developed its first rental homes in Malminiitty, Vantaa. By 1974, VVO had expanded to 20 municipalities. Now, in early 2014, we own 40,273 homes in 43 municipalities. During this review period, we signed agreements on developing rental apartments in Helsinki's Kalasatama and in Lappeenranta.
We also signed contracts to supply our customers with broadband and television services provide by two operators, DNA and Elisa. Entering into force at the beginning of 2015, these contracts will cover 38,500 households, meaning that a faster broadband connection will be covered by the rent paid for nearly every VVO home. This 10 Mbit/s broadband connection is a major improvement on earlier broadband speeds and will enable smoother internet use. We want to offer our customers an easy-to-use and simple broadband service. In addition, we continue to develop our operations to enable easy tenant-landlord interaction and smooth-running services.
Our profit performance is a result of a combination of successful measures, such as management of property maintenance costs, efficient rental operations and low financing costs. Our high occupancy rate is based not only on high demand but also on our efforts to develop the rental process. For example, the electronic rental agreement process, which we deployed last autumn, had a very positive response among our customers.
I would like to thank you for a successful first quarter of 2014!