Taaleri's business has developed very well, despite the challenging market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Profitability based on commission income developed well – our Group's continuing income increased by 18 percent to EUR 29.0 million thanks to the active involvement of our personnel, and performance fees accrued from several funds totaled EUR 2.2 million during the review period. The pandemic had an impact particularly on changes in the fair value in the equity and money markets and hence on the result of Taaleri's own investments, but also on our clients' assets under management and, indirectly, on project development. Investment income fell sharply in the first quarter of the year, and although there were clear signs of improvement in the second quarter, the investment result stayed at -5.1 million euros. Taaleri's income in the review period was EUR 26.3 million, operating profit EUR 2.8 million and the operating margin was 11 per cent. Personnel expenses decreased mainly due to lower variable salaries and cost/income ratio excluding investment operations strengthened from previous period.
A significant milestone was reached when Taaleri Energia successfully exited its first wind farm project in the United States to Taaleri SolarWind II -fund, infrastructure fund AIP, Ilmarinen and a producer of renewable energy Akuo Energy. BHE Renewables (subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy), NORD/LB, Mizuho, Santander and Societe Generale act as project financiers, and the project is 336 megawatts in size and represents more than $ 450 million in investment in the North American renewable energy sector. The profit impacts from the project will be gradually booked later. Taaleri Energia continued to raise funds for the international renewable energy fund Taaleri SolarWind II and commitments exceeded EUR 290 million at the end of the review period.
During January-June 2020, new investment commitments of EUR 100 million were collected in Taaleri Biojalostamo, Taaleri Velkarahastot I, Taaleri Kiinteistöt, Aurinkotuuli II and Taaleri Impakti -funds and EUR 25 million to several equity funds. In addition, Taaleri announced Finland's first digital asset management service specializing in impact investments.
Garantia's net income from guarantee insurance operations increased by 27 per cent to EUR 6.9 million and claims incurred remained low. Net investment income decreased significantly due to the market effects caused by COVID-19 and investment income at fair value ended at -4.5 per cent during the period under review.
The implementation of Taaleri’s strategy proceeds well in all business segments and during the first half of 2020 Taaleri Group’s Executive Management Team was strengthened, since Essi Sten was appointed Head of Taaleri Real Estate business as of 1 April 2020. During past few months we have executed several development projects, which support our growth strategy and help us in building even stronger Taaleri.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and the level of uncertainty remains high. Our skilled and motivated personnel will continue creating interesting investment opportunities, and, in addition to economic returns, we want to offer our customers a way to positively impact the surrounding society and the environment also in the current business environment.