Letter to shareholders
Letter to shareholders
Ladies and Gentlemen
The energy industry faced many challenges in fiscal 2022 and experienced the most turbulent year since the creation of the free energy market. Historically low precipitation levels, problems with French nuclear power plants, the gas shortage and, above all, the war in Ukraine, made for the “perfect storm”. The industry was confronted with what at times were uncontrolled price increases for electricity and gas, extreme price fluctuations and significant price differences between countries. Prices on the market hit more than five times their historical average and futures contracts for various products were above EUR 1,000/MWh at times, only to fall back to pre-Ukraine-war levels at the end of the fourth quarter
Against this backdrop Repower demonstrated resilience as a company and recorded a solid result for the 2022 financial year. Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were unchanged versus the prior year at CHF 82 million. Group profit came to CHF 46 million (down 2%). The Repower Group’s total operating revenues were up 46% to CHF 4.7 billion. (You’ll find the comments on the financial results here)
Considering the turmoil on the energy markets, trading posted a very good result. The main contribution came from gas and electricity trading in Switzerland. It was possible to take advantage of the volatile markets, compensate for the low rainfall by optimising storage reserves, and keep liquidity under control. Repower’s risk management addresses the entire range of market, credit and liquidity risks. Repower has sufficient liquidity to ensure that a federal government bailout has never become an issue.
In Italy, the risk of delays in payment increased sharply owing to the exceptional rise in energy prices. Thanks to good credit management practices, specific measures for risky customers and the good credit quality of the clientele remaining with Repower, the situation was kept under control.
Repower felt the confidence of investors and shareholders in the 2022 financial year. In November it successfully issued a bond to raise CHF 150 million on the Swiss capital market. Over the course of the year the share price climbed 24 per cent from CHF 133 to CHF 165.
Repower is contributing to the Swiss federal government’s hydropower reserve and has undertaken to retain sufficient water to generate 24 gigawatt hours of energy until 15 May 2023. By taking this measure, Repower is helping reinforce security of supply in Switzerland in the critical months early in the year, and is deliberately foregoing income in the 2022 financial year.
“Considering the turmoil on the energy markets, trading posted a very good result.”
Repower’s own production (including interests) totalled 2,138 gigawatt hours in the year under review (down 27% year on year). Besides water retained deliberately for the federal government’s hydropower reserve, the main reasons for the decline were the overhaul of Campocologno power plant and the total modernisation of Robbia power plant. Robbia power plant was shut down as scheduled in June. The modernisation will boost the generation capacity of the plant in the Upper Poschiavo Valley by around 10 per cent. An increase in the volume of residual water prompted by the extreme drought in spring 2022 also contributed to the reduction in volumes generated: to prevent fish from dying, Repower increased the volume of residual water in the Poschiavo Valley in March and April. (You’ll find the generation statistics here)
After successful modernisation work, the solar power installations in Italy increased their production to 50 GWh (+55%), while the wind power assets in Italy generated 141 GWh (–10%) in the year under review. There was a major decline in thermal electricity generation at Teverola combined cycle gas turbine plant, down 24 per cent to 858 GWh. Efforts to expand renewable energy production in Italy continue. In the year under review the subsidiary Repower Renewable received permits for various solar installation with a total capacity of around 110 MW.
Demand for balancing energy from Teverola to stabilise the electricity grid in southern Italy had already declined considerably in the first six months of 2022, and failed to recover in the second half of the year. Accordingly, the contribution to earnings made by Teverola was way below expectations and the results of previous years.
In the year under review Repower invested a total of 89 million francs (prior year: CHF 104 million). Around CHF 25 million of this went to maintaining and modernising the electricity grid. Grid availability was a very high 99.997%. Repower delivers electricity to around 48,000 basic supply customers in its supply areas. (You’ll find the grid statistics here)
PLUG’N ROLL, Repower’s electric mobility provider, profited from the powerful growth of the electric vehicle market, and was able to acquire various major contracts, including SBB and the Shopping Arena in St. Gallen.
Given the good operating results for the year and the capital structure and liquidity, the board of directors moves that the annual general meeting of 17 May 2023 approve a dividend of CHF 5.00 per share.
We expect extreme energy market volatility to continue having a major impact on the 2023 financial year. On the basis of its hedging strategy, Repower sells large parts of the electricity generated at its own power plants in advance. In the medium term, the higher hedged prices will also have a positive effect on Repower’s result.
The 2022 financial year was exceptional in many respects and posed great challenges for us all. The company’s success depends on the expertise and great motivation of its people. On behalf of the executive board and board of directors we would like to thank our employees for their daily hard work and dedication. We would also like to thank our partners for their trusting cooperation. Our heartfelt thanks also go to you, our shareholders, for the trust you place in us and your loyalty to our company.
Dr Monika Krüsi
Chair of the board of directors