Consolidated financial statements of the Repower Group
Comments on the financial results
Repower posted a solid group profit of CHF 47 million – having seen operating income increase for the sixth financial year running.
In 2021 the energy markets saw unprecedented price increases, price levels and volatility. The volumes of energy sold and procured increased 26% or 4.4 TWh year on year from 17.0 TWh to 21.4 TWh. Sales of gas doubled from 1.7 cubic kilometres to 3.4 cubic kilometres. All this has had a considerable impact on Repower’s financial statements. Total assets, net sales from goods and services, and energy procurement doubled versus the prior year. Positive and negative replacement values for held-for-trading positions (energy derivatives) were up as much as 17-fold and 19-fold respectively.
In the highly volatile market environment that prevailed in 2021, Repower managed to post stable results and maintain its financial power – in particular a high level of net liquidity. It can thus look back on a successful year. Net debt (or net liquidity when written with a minus sign) improved by CHF 8 million, now totalling CHF –97 million (prior year: CHF –89 million). The group closed the 2021 financial year with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of CHF 82 million (prior year: CHF 77 million). Earnings before tax (EBT) came to CHF 65 million, in line with the prior year. Group earnings improved from CHF 41 million to CHF 47 million. Earnings per registered share comes to CHF 5.72 (CHF 5.31 the year before). Despite the fact that equity increased further to CHF 883 million (prior year: CHF 869 million), because of a significant increase in total assets from CHF 1,982 million to CHF 3,982 million the equity ratio halved from 44 per cent at the end of 2020 to 22 per cent on the balance sheet date. As it was the previous year, the Market Switzerland segment was again affected by extraordinary items.
Development in sales, and strong operating results
At CHF 3,211 million, Repower Group net sales from goods and services were up 88 per cent on the prior year level of CHF 1,708 million. The considerable increase in net sales is connected in particular with year-on-year increases in trading volumes and prices of electricity and gas.
By contrast, gross energy margin, which Repower defines as the difference between net revenue from energy business and energy procurement, has stayed more or less unchanged, only up from CHF 273 million to CHF 274 million at group level.
In the Market Switzerland segment the gross energy margin, including a positive extraordinary item of CHF 5 million on the basis of an adjustment in provisions for onerous procurement contracts, came to CHF 112 million, as it had the previous year.
Owing to its hedging strategy, Repower was able to profit from the increase in price levels only sporadically. The prior year’s lower hedging prices resulted in a CHF 9 million decline in gross energy margin in Trading. In the Generation and Grid divisions (adjusted for an extraordinary item, the recognition of a subsequent positive declaration), gross energy margin declined by CHF 8 million.
In 2021, provisions for onerous procurement contracts in the amount of CHF 5 million were used or reversed, reducing the costs of energy procurement. These provisions for onerous contracts were recognised the previous year and reduced the results by CHF 21 million. As part of a subsequent positive declaration of operating and capital costs for a feeder line, the prior year CHF 7 million flowed to Repower, and was recognised as net sales.
In 2021 the purchase price adjustment made for the transfer of transmission grids and the receipt of a premium for large hydropower projects amounting to CHF 21 million and CHF 4 million respectively were recognised as extraordinary items under other operating income. The cost of materials and third-party services increased; for the Market Switzerland segment it came to CHF 27 million (prior year: CHF 18 million), of which (in particular) CHF 11 million fell to services for third parties (prior year: CHF 6 million), CHF 10 million to the preservation and maintenance of Repower’s own grid and generation assets (prior year: CHF 9 million) and CHF 2 million to sales, in particular the solar power equipment and EV charging station business.
EBIT including extraordinary items for the Market Switzerland segment came to CHF 37 million, more than double the prior-year figure of CHF 16 million.
In the Market Italy segment the gross energy margin increased by CHF 1 million, up from CHF 162 million to CHF 163 million. A CHF 29 million year-on-year decline in the margin on the provision of balancing energy through the operation of the Teverola combined cycle gas turbine plant was offset by an increase in margins on the renewable energy business (Repower Renewable) and retail business, where demand had declined in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic but has now recovered again by comparison with the prior year.
The prior year there was an impairment gain of CHF 6 million on the investment in the associate Aerochetto S.r.l. This year’s result was negatively impacted by a provision of CHF 4 million created for excise taxes and other contractual risks. The cost of materials and third-party services in the Market Italy segment increased CHF 4 million from CHF 27 million to CHF 31 million; this was in connection with stepped-up efforts to sell VAS-products, for example charging stations and cargo bikes, as well with higher project development costs at Repower Renewable. The prior year’s depreciation for solar power installations acquired in the course of the year are now, in 2021, included for the entire year, increasing annual depreciation by comparison with the prior year.
EBIT in the Market Italy segment saw a year-on-year decline of CHF 15 million (21%) from CHF 72 million to CHF 57 million.
Negative EBIT, and thus costs in other segments and activities, came to CHF 12 million (prior year: CHF 11 million).
The net financial result (financial income and financial expenses) increased overall versus the prior year, representing net financial expenses of CHF 17 million (prior year: net financial expenses of CHF 12 million). The weakening in the euro was more pronounced than in 2020. One result of this was that in 2021, CHF 8 million (prior year: CHF 2 million) in currency translation losses had to be recognised. Forward exchange transactions were used to generate offsetting gains of CHF 5 million (prior year: CHF 2 million). Interest expense declined, down CHF 2 million from CHF 11 million to CHF 9 million. As part of a refinancing, a previously unrecognised interest rate swap in the amount of CHF 3 million was closed affecting expense.
Earnings before tax came in at CHF 65 million, in line with the prior year. Income taxes, by contrast, fell CHF 24 million to CHF 18 million, which translates into a decline in the group’s effective tax rate of 37 per cent to 27 per cent. The main reason for this was the increase of results in Switzerland, subject to lower tax rate, and the decrease of results in Italy, subject to higher tax rate.
Total assets at 31 December 2021 were CHF 3,982 million, up 101 per cent or CHF 2,000 million from CHF 1,982 million the prior year. The increase in total assets and liabilities is due in particular to an increase in prices.
Repower’s non-current assets grew CHF 10 million from CHF 997 million to CHF 1,007 million. Within non-current assets there was a CHF 27 million increase in intangible assets. In January 2021, Repower paid reversion waiver compensation of CHF 24 million to Canton Graubünden and the municipalities of Brusio and Poschiavo for the continued operation of the Campocologno I and II plants. This reversion waiver compensation was capitalised.
Investments in associates and joint ventures declined by CHF 3 million from CHF 6 million to CHF 3 million. The major part of this change was due to this year’s sale of EL.IT.E. S.r.l.
Current assets tripled to CHF 2,975 million from CHF 985 million the previous year. The main driver of this development was the highly volatile market environment and the high level of prices reached by the end of the year. The carrying amount of positive replacement values for held-for-trading positions came to CHF 1,775 million (prior year: CHF 105 million), many times higher than the previous year’s figure. Positive replacement values for held-for-trading positions came to 45 per cent of total assets (prior year: 5 per cent). As part of its strategy, Repower opens and closes trading positions with the help of forward transactions (derivatives). The balance sheet rules generally foresee recognition on a gross basis. Netting of items accumulated in this way is only possible in precisely defined circumstances. The high carrying amounts of the forward transactions on the balance sheet were due to the enormous increase in market prices and thus in forward prices for energy products. On a net basis, however, the value of positive and negative replacement values for held-for-trading positions declined by CHF 6 million versus the prior year.
Equity grew 2 per cent from CHF 869 million to CHF 883 million. A particular contributory factor was good group earnings of CHF 47 million. Owing to the effects described above, the equity ratio halved to 22 per cent from 44 per cent the prior year. Return on equity (group earnings divided by equity) was 5 per cent, in line with the prior year.
Liabilities came to CHF 3,098 million at 31 December 2021, up 178 per cent or CHF 1,985 million from CHF 1,113 million the prior year. Here too the main reason is the extraordinarily pronounced increase in the carrying amounts of forward transactions described above.
Lower cash flow from operating activities
Despite a CHF 6 million increase in group earnings, cash flow from operating activities declined by CHF 40 million from CHF 159 million to CHF 119 million. This was due in particular to the higher income taxes paid to the community which increased by CHF 26 million from CHF 7 million the previous year to CHF 33 million. Other financial cash outflow came to CHF 4 million (versus a financial cash inflow of CHF 6 million the prior year), representing a CHF 10 million decline on the prior year, primarily due to lower cash inflows from forward exchange transactions this year, which are recognised under other financial cash outflow and inflow.
Cash flow from investing activities declined CHF 130 million to CHF –37 million (prior year:
CHF –167 million). Direct investments in tangible and intangible assets increased by CHF 52 million versus the prior year to CHF 104 million (prior year: CHF 52 million), and primarily relate to grids and power plants, in particular the modernisation of Robbia power plant and reversion waiver compensation payments of CHF 24 million. In 2021 the Zernez and S-chanf distribution grids were sold for CHF 5 million. Repower also divested a net CHF 44 million in current and non-current financial assets (prior year: invested CHF 81 million). CHF 10 million flowed to Repower from the sale of the associates EL.IT.E. S.r.l. and Aerochetto S.r.l. In 2020 Repower made CHF 40 million (less cash and cash equivalents acquired) in investments in group companies. This was connected with the acquisition of solar and wind power installations in Italy and Germany.
In 2021 cash flow from operating activities exceeded cash flow from investing activities (having come in below cash flow from investing activities the prior year), amounting to CHF 83 million (prior year: CHF –9 million). Adjusted for incoming and outgoing payments in connection with investments and divestments of fully consolidated companies and associates, free cash flow came to CHF 73 million (versus CHF 31 million the prior year).
Cash flow from financing activities came to CHF –4 million (prior year: CHF –56 million). The prior year item contains a CHF 3 million capital increase from minority shareholders. Overall in 2021, financial liabilities of a net CHF 28 million were taken up (prior year: CHF 30 million repaid). In 2021 Repower paid dividends of around CHF 23 million to shareholders (prior year: CHF 19 million).
Repower’s cash and cash equivalents came to CHF 370 million (prior year: CHF 301 million), with a year-on-year improvement in net liquidity to CHF –97 million from CHF –89 million the prior year.
The figure for net debt or net liquidity is calculated on the basis of cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, fixed-term deposits, and current and non-current financial liabilities, including accrued interest. Net liquidity is indicated by a minus sign.
Net liquidity increased by CHF 8 million from CHF –89 million the prior year to CHF –97 million. Liabilities were lower than cash and cash equivalents. The net debt to EBITDA ratio was therefore also negative, unchanged at –0.7 and thus giving Repower more financial and strategic room for manoeuvre.
Dividend to shareholders
Given Repower’s good operating results, strong capital structure and healthy liquidity, the board of directors moves that the annual general meeting of 18 May 2022 approve a dividend of CHF 4.50 per share.
The impact of the war in Ukraine on the energy business cannot yet be fully foreseen, but it will have an influence and result in changes. The current high level of energy prices combined with a high degree of volatility are challenging, and represent both opportunities and risks. Connected with the high prices are more stringent liquidity requirements for trading activities. The high prices have also increased the risk that Repower’s trading partners could get into economic difficulty. This could have unfavourable implications for Repower as well. Repower is monitoring developments closely and taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risks as far as possible. Repower has good financial power.
Demand for balancing energy, such as the Teverola combined cycle gas turbine plant supplies, is by its nature highly volatile. It is still too early to say for sure what the impact of the introduction of the capacity market for balancing energy in Italy will be.
With its own generation assets and operations at various stages of the value chain, Repower is generally well positioned. Thanks to higher prices, Repower anticipates increasing revenues from the sale of electricity. In the longer term, however, we must not be blinded by the short-term rise in electricity prices, as already in the medium term the market is assuming significantly lower prices.
Despite all the uncertainty, we expect successful business in 2022.