During the reporting year, we thoroughly considered the core of our operations and any needs to make changes. All of our personnel were engaged in the strategy process. We analysed the impact of key trends on our operations in the future and the most significant current changes in the operating environment and consumer behaviour. As a result, we updated our vision, mission, strategy, including our main targets, and dividend policy, and our Board of Directors approved these in the autumn.
Globalisation, digitalisation and sustainable development are accelerating the rate of urbanisation and changing people's values and actions. The cornerstone of our strategy is that housing must also be able to change.
SATO is a company which offers and produces rental apartments. We maintain our range of apartments in accordance with the lifecycle principle and invest actively in new rental apartments in order to broaden our range and to grow. We operate in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and its commuter areas, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Jyväskylä in Finland. We also operate in St. Petersburg in Russia.
We will create a well-functioning cooperation network to offer diverse housing and services for different needs and for the benefit of our customers. We have launched three strategic development programmes: Customer first, OmaSATO digital services and Diverse housing concepts.
In the Customer first programme, we set the customer as the driver of our operations, improve our services and interact more closely with our customers. From spring 2017 onwards, we will mainly handle our customer relationships ourselves. We will bring back building management to be operated in-house, increase the interaction with customers and improve the management of our customers. We will also change our management model.
The objective of the OmaSATO programme is to speed up digital services and develop them together with our customers to produce added value in housing. The first phase of the programme is the FindAHome service which will be released in the spring of 2017.
As a result of urbanisation, housing needs are becoming more varied and the range of apartments needs to be broader. In addition to service development, we want to offer other options for current solutions through new concepts.
We will target our growth investments in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, as well as Tampere and Turku where the demand for apartments and the expected value development are the highest.
The role of financing is emphasised in the creation of capacity for growth, and we have included a strengthening investment grade rating (currently Moody’s Baa3) in our strategic objectives. Our return on equity target for the strategic period will remain unchanged at 12 per cent. In addition, our strategic objective is a constantly improving Net Promoter Score (NPS) among our tenants.
According to the new dividend policy, annual dividends paid will, depending on the market situation, investment level, the development of equity ratio and the crediting rate, be a maximum of 40 per cent of the cash earnings.