Norway: Sheringham Shoal Boosts Statkraft Operating Profit
In the first quarter of 2013, Statkraft achieved an underlying operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) of NOK 4180 million, on par with the corresponding quarter in 2012. Negative currency effects resulted in a net profit of NOK 443 million, compared with NOK 3430 million in the first quarter last year.
“Increased production capacity and higher Nordic power prices contributed to a sound profit from operations. The result is characterised by negative currency effects, but this is offset by translation effects which strengthen equity. The Group has released capital for own investments by selling all shares in E.ON,” says President and CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.
Higher Nordic power prices and new production capacity from the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm in the UK boosted the operating profit. This was offset by a lower contribution from market activities and somewhat higher property taxes, resulting in an underlying EBITDA of NOK 4180 million, compared with NOK 4212 million last year.
The net profit was characterised by significant currency effects. Currency fluctuations in the first quarter of 2013 had a negative impact, while the same period in 2012 had currency gains. This resulted in a reduction of the net profit by NOK 3 billion, to NOK 443 million. The currency effects were mainly unrealised.
The Nordic market in the quarter was characterised by lower inflow than normal and high power consumption as a result of low temperatures. The average power price was 9 per cent higher than in the same quarter in 2012. The Group’s power production was 17.4 TWh, unchanged compared with the corresponding quarter in 2012.
“In accordance with the Group’s strategy, the project activity level is high as regards hydropower, wind power and district heating. The Group’s investment programme still retains sound flexibility and we will adapt investment plans to market outlook and financial capacity,” says Rynning-Tønnesen.
In order to strengthen the Group’s financial situation, Statkraft has sold the entire shareholding in E.ON of 83.4 million shares for a total of NOK 8.5 billion. Of this, 23.4 million shares were sold in the first quarter for NOK 2.3 billion. The main objectives for the strengthening of the capital structure are preserving a sensible balance between solidity and expansion ability, as well as maintaining the current credit rating.
The challenges in connection with European gas-fired power continue to be considerable, with low production margins and relatively higher coal power competitiveness as a result of low coal and carbon prices. As a consequence, Statkraft has decided to put the German gas-fired power plant Robert Frank in cold reserve. Within renewable energy trading, Statkraft continues to grow in Germany and the UK, where the Group offers market access for producers without own market operations.
Statkraft is Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy and is the leading power company in Norway. The company owns, produces and develops hydropower, wind power, gas-fired power and district heating. Statkraft is a major player in European power trading and has 3600 employees in more than 20 countries.
Press release, May 8, 2013; Image: statkraft