- Guidance exceeded
- Growth of the internally operated portfolio on track
- Project pipeline of projects under development at a record level
Cuxhaven, March 29, 2023 – The year 2022 was a very successful year for PNE AG. As a result of successful operational business developments, total aggregate output amounted to euro 243.3 million (prior year: euro 252.0 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to euro 35.4 million (prior year: euro 32.7 million). Operating profit (EBIT) totalled euro 6.2 million (prior year: euro 9.3 million). The basic earnings per share amounted to euro 0.20 (prior year: euro 0.33). PNE AG has clearly exceeded the guidance for the Group EBITDA of euro 20 to 30 million and was also in the upper range of the increased guidance. The Company published its report for the 2022 fiscal year today.
"The 2022 fiscal year was a very successful year for PNE AG. We achieved exceptionally good results and also exceeded our guidance. We have come a major step closer to our strategic goal of building up a large internally operated portfolio of wind farms and photovoltaic plants. In addition, we were able to increase the project pipeline to a record level", says Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG. "Strategically, we have also set the course for further growth with the continued development of our Scale up 2.0 strategy."
Significant expansion of the internally operated portfolio
The declared aim of the corporate strategy of PNE AG is to expand its internally operated portfolio. After the completion and acquisition of further wind farms, the nominal capacity of the wind farms operated by the Company increased from 233.2 MW to 318.9 MW at the end of 2022. The Company's own wind farms generated 509 GWh of clean electricity in 2022 (prior year: 295 GWh). Further wind farms with a capacity of 89 MW, which are intended for the Company's internal portfolio, are under construction. They are the foundation for further expansion in accordance with "Scale up 2.0" to 1,500 MW/MWp by the end of 2027.
"Hidden reserves" created with the establishment of the wind farm portfolio
With the establishment of its own wind farm portfolio, the PNE Group has created "hidden reserves", which are not immediately recognisable. As a result of the investments in PNE’s own projects, pre-tax profits totalling euro 177.1 million were eliminated at Group level by the end of 2022, of which euro 42.5 million in fiscal 2022 (prior year: euro 53.0 million).
Project pipeline breaks record
The project pipeline, i.e. the stock of projects under development, was further expanded and increased to a record level with a total nominal capacity of 11,883 MW/MWp. Onshore wind farm projects accounted for 7,587 MW (prior year: 5,706 MW) and photovoltaic (PV) projects for 4,296 MWp (prior year: 1,210 MWp). The PNE Group was again able to significantly expand the project pipeline for photovoltaic projects in 2022. The acquisition of a majority stake of 51 percent in the Spanish company Coliaenergia ESPAÑA, S.L. (KOLYA) in July 2022 played a major role in this growth.
Progress in the expansion of the service business
The PNE Group has further expanded its competence related to wind turbine services in 2022. With operations management contracts for wind farms in Germany, France, Poland and Sweden, the PNE Group is also well established internationally in this area. Overall, the nominal capacity of the wind farms managed rose to more than 2,500 MW. This represents growth of approx. 25 percent compared with the previous year.
For the 2022 fiscal year, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board propose that a dividend of euro 0.04 as well as a special dividend of euro 0.04 for each no-par value share entitled to a dividend in the 2022 fiscal year be distributed from PNE AG’s retained earnings totalling euro 251,571,002.25. The remaining retained earnings shall be carried forward to a new account.
US business put to the test
As part of its corporate strategy, the PNE Group regularly reviews its activities in the various markets. This is currently also happening in the USA. PNE is reviewing the sale of its US business. The background to this is that very high guarantees and securities have to be deposited on the US market at the moment. This applies, in particular, to investments in grids, which are to be intensively expanded. In addition, a good part of the margins is achieved with the construction of the projects, which requires high investments. To get increased margins, PNE would have to invest very heavily, which would be at the expense of expanding the internally operated portfolio in Europe. At the same time, demand for project pipelines under development as well as experienced teams in the USA is currently particularly high due to the Inflation Reduction Act.
A good start to 2023
Markus Lesser: "We have carried the momentum from the previous fiscal year with us and were able to achieve further successes, especially in the further expansion of our internally operated portfolio. We successfully pushed through all the wind farms that we had in the tender in Germany in February.”
The PNE Group is also making progress in France with the expansion for its internally operated portfolio. The first wind farm project intended for the Company's own portfolio with approx. 12 MW has been approved. Construction is scheduled to begin this year. A total of around 207 MW, which are intended for PNE's own portfolio, are now under construction or have passed the tendering process in Germany and France. “In Germany, we additionally received the permits for the "Heidmoor" (36 MW) and "Bebensee" (18.6 MW) wind farms in the first quarter of this year. However, the market environment remains challenging”, says Markus Lesser.
In the coming years, the PNE Group wants to continuously expand its internally operated portfolio and increasingly become an independent power producer (IPP). This is based on the long-standing core business, which is the project development. A large part of the sales and earnings will also come from the "power generation" segment in the future.
At the same time, PNE will systematically drive forward the expansion of services, technologies and markets. The overall business benefits from the synergies arising from the three segments "project development", "power generation" and "service products".
"PNE considers itself well prepared for its further development. Our foundation for the future is in place. The project pipeline is at a record level and the results of 2022 are also impressive. With the new "Scale up 2.0" strategy, we are focusing on growth", says Markus Lesser. "In fiscal 2023, as in previous years, PNE will have further upfront expenditure in the low single-digit million range for the strategic expansion of the business model. We expect Group EBITDA of euro 30 to 40 million in respect of our guidance for the 2023 fiscal year."