OPERATING INCOME CONFIRMED AT PRIOR-YEAR LEVEL THANKS TO MORE STABLE MARKET ENVIRONMENT
GRATIFYING RESULTS THANKS TO HIGHER MARKET PRICES AND SUCCESSFUL EXPLOITATION OF MARKET OPPORTUNITIES – BASIC BUSINESS SUPPORTIVE – MARKET ITALY’S EARNINGS CONTRIBUTION EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
With 2018 earnings well above expectations, Repower managed to confirm the prior-year levels. From spring 2018 the energy market saw a recovery in prices accompanied by a high degree of volatility. Repower was able to profitably exploit this more encouraging situation by capitalising on its long position and skilfully positioning itself in the market. Also worthy of mention are the continued stability and support provided by earnings from energy supply and revenues from contracts for third parties. In Italy Repower was able to increase the volumes of electricity and gas sold as budgeted. The revenues generated by marketing energy from the Teverola plant on the day-ahead and balancing energy market made a much greater contribution to earnings than anticipated.
The 2018 financial year ended with earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of CHF 35 million. Income before income taxes came to CHF 19 million, with annual profit for the year also CHF 16 million.
As in the previous period, there are no notable exceptional items to report for the 2018 financial year. The comments on Repower Group’s 2018 financial results below, including the prior-year comparisons, thus refer entirely to the results stated under Swiss GAAP FER.
At CHF 2,074 million, Repower Group net sales from goods and services were up 13 per cent year on year (prior year: CHF 1,835 million). Sales improved in Switzerland (primarily energy trading) and Italian (an increase in volumes of energy sold). The fact that the average euro exchange rate was around 4 per cent higher than the previous year also resulted in higher sales in Swiss francs, the reporting currency. Gross energy margin improved, up CHF 15 million from CHF 208 million to CHF 223 million. Major factors in this were the gratifying results from energy trading in Switzerland mentioned above and the very efficient deployment of the Teverola power plant on the balancing energy market in response to market demand, despite downtime during the year.
Operating expenses (without energy procurement) declined by around CHF 14 million year on year to CHF 178 million (from CHF 163 million the year before). Owing to consistent implementation of Repower’s strategy and efforts to build up certain areas, for the first time since 2013 there has been an increase in personnel expenses (up CHF 5 million). An overall increase in operating expenses (up CHF 9 million) was due to expenses in connection with the development of new products, setting up IT systems, and efforts to grow sales in Italy. While there was a decline in concession charges (down CHF 1 million), there was an increase in the cost of materials and third-party services (up CHF 1 million year on year), the latter primarily due to greater expense in connection with the maintenance of Repower’s own assets.
Scheduled depreciation/amortisation came in at CHF 47 million for 2018, up CHF 1 million on the previous year. This increase is due to the acquisition of a portfolio of renewable generation assets in Italy (Repower Renewable). As was the case the prior year, the year under review saw neither impairment losses nor gains nor reversals.
Repower Group posted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of CHF 35 million, around 5 per cent higher than the CHF 34 million recorded the previous year.
There was a very slight decline in financial earnings, with a loss of CHF 16 million versus a loss of CHF 14 million the previous year. Unlike the previous year, currency losses of CHF 9 million were recorded in 2018, although they were to a large extent neutralised by currency hedging transactions. The year under review saw a reduction in financial liabilities from CHF 10 million in 2017 to CHF 9 million in 2018. A due loan of CHF 25 million and part (CHF 19 million) of the outstanding bond were repaid during the 2018 financial year.
Repower posted group earnings of CHF 16 million for 2018. It is gratifying to note that this confirmed a trend reversal to positive results.
A significant increase in tangible assets (up CHF 92 million) was due primarily to the acquisition of the renewable generation assets in Italy. Year-on-year growth in inventories (up CHF 16 million) was the result of higher volumes of and higher prices for gas. The decline in financial assets (down CHF 17 million) was due to the reclassification of maturing fixed-term deposits. The addition of Repower Renewable to the scope of consolidation in Italy resulted in CHF 85 million in new financial liabilities.
With major changes in the regulatory and political framework set to continue, Repower does not expect the situation for the energy industry to stabilise significantly in the years to come. Despite greater volatility, Repower expects the positive development in energy prices to continue. On the basis of a strong core business it will be able to drive ahead implementation of its formulated strategy of systematically focusing on sales and services. In Italy the plan is to continue to build on the solid position in sales and penetrate a new customer segment. Parallel to this Repower intends to continue expanding its portfolio of renewable generation assets. Overall Repower believes its growth prospects are intact. For 2019 Repower anticipates operating results higher than 2018 levels.