The presidential honour means the world to Supercell, CEO Ilkka Paananen says. President Sauli Niinistö has granted the Finnish games sector its third internationalisation award in three years, with Supercell one of the three companies being granted the honour this year. The creations of the game studio, Clash of Clans and Hay Day, have ranked among the world's most popular mobile games for nearly two years now.

Last year, the presidential award was presented to game studio Rovio and the year before that to the entire games cluster.

Ilkka Paananen, the CEO of Supercell, says that the presidential honour means the world to the game studio – “like Olympic ice hockey gold”.

The Helsinki-based Supercell is a relatively international company, employing people from over 30 countries and operating virtually across the globe. “On the other hand, our roots are in Finland, and that's really important to us,” emphasises Paananen.

The other two companies honoured on Wednesday were Vexve, a manufacturer of thermal valves, and Ledil, a specialist in LED lighting components.

The family-owned Vexve churns out roughly 500,000 thermal valves a year at its manufacturing plants in Sastamala and Liperi, exporting some 90 per cent of its output. Ledil, in turn, specialises in LED lighting components and is globally one of the largest companies in the special market, deriving 99 per cent of its net sales overseas.

The Internationalisation Award of the President of Finland has been granted since 1967 to promising young companies and to internationally-oriented companies and communities that have promoted Finland's competitiveness.

Juhani Saarinen – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva