- Operationally successful fiscal year 2018
- Implementation of "scale-up“ shows effect
- International expansion of business progressing well
- Positive outlook to 2019
Cuxhaven, March 28, 2019 – PNE AG closed the year 2018 successfully in operational terms. This is the result of the annual report published today. With 235.7 megawatts (MW) of projects sold, commissioned or under construction, the previous year's level (233.6 MW) was again reached. With an expected investment volume of around euro 1.4 to 1.8 million per MW of installed nominal capacity, PNE has initiated investments of around euro 330 to 424 million (prior year: euro 327 to 420 million). Particular sales successes would have led to an over-fulfilment of the targets with EBIT of approx. euro 18.5 million and EBITDA of approx. euro 27.2 million if this had not been burdened by other aspects. However, as already reported, a reassessment of offshore projects has led to non-cash value adjustments of approx. euro 10.8 million.
As a result of these value adjustments, the Group only achieved EBITDA of approx. euro 16.5 million and EBIT of approx. euro 7.8 million in the 2018 fiscal year. The guidance for Group EBITDA of euro 20 to 26 million and the guidance for Group EBIT of euro 10 to 16 million were not achieved in the 2018 fiscal year. Thus, the earnings per share amounted to euro -0.01. The equity ratio was 47.8 percent as at December 31, 2018. The available liquidity remains high: As at December 31, 2018, the Group reported liquidity of euro 129.1 million in its balance sheet.
The three offshore projects concerned are involved in a constitutional complaint lodged in 2017. In view of the expected success of the constitutional complaint, PNE assumes that these three projects will give rise to a claim for damages in the amount of the value adjustment and thus to considerable additional earnings potential. Further explanations can be found in the annual report.
Profitable despite increased investing activities
In economic terms, the past financial year developed positively. The Group has operated profitably, although it also invested in the construction of its own wind power turbines, which will become part of the "Wind Farm Portfolio 2020". All business divisions contributed to the result: national and international project development, power generation, operations management and the new service products. PNE received further milestone payments from the offshore wind farm projects sold in the past. The construction of the "Wind Farm Portfolio 2020" is progressing as scheduled. The "Gerdau Repowering" wind farm was commissioned at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. This means that 71.3 MW – and thus more than one third of the target figure – are already in operation or under construction.
The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will propose to the general meeting of shareholders on May 22, 2019 that a dividend of euro 0.04 per eligible share be distributed from PNE AG's retained earnings. This is intended to continue the dividend policy of recent years.
Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG: "We are particularly pleased that our international business, including in France, Sweden, Poland and Italy, has continued to grow. It has made a major contribution to earnings. The internationalisation of our business is paying off. Two thirds of our more than 4,800 MW project pipeline are projects abroad."
New orientation to become a Clean Energy Solution Provider
CEO Markus Lesser looks to the future: "We cannot and will not rest on these successes. Since the end of 2017, we have been working intensively on implementing our strategic expansion to become a Clean Energy Solution Provider through our "scale-up" concept. With this realignment, we are meeting the major energy policy challenges at both national and global level. While political changes, tender markets and price pressure pose major challenges for the industry, the global demand for energy is growing. Renewable energies are already competitive in many areas. In addition, technological developments ensure that the energy markets are becoming increasingly interlinked and offer new business opportunities. We want to profit from this."
Earnings are to be increased and stabilised with the "scale-up" programme. A significant increase in the service share and even greater diversification in the project business should improve the risk profile on a sustained basis. Lesser: "In this way, we are making the PNE Group even more resistant and robust."
The course for the coming years is clear: PNE will strengthen its core business and, at the same time, consistently push ahead with the expansion in the fields of services, technologies and markets. Further progress has been achieved in 2019 with the entry into the Latin and South American markets and the acquisition of service companies.
In fiscal 2019, PNE will incur further upfront expenditure in the low single-digit million range for the strategic expansion of the business model and the preparations for entry into new markets. Nevertheless, the enterprise anticipates clearly positive EBITDA in the range of euro 25 to 30 million and EBIT of euro 15 to 20 million at Group level. These results do not take account of the profits from projects to be built in 2019 for the "Wind Farm Portfolio 2020", which is currently under construction.