November 16 (Solar) – Italian energy company ERG SpA (BIT:ERG), which operates 1.8 GW of wind parks in Europe plus other power plants, on Wednesday reported improved group net results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2018, thanks to new capacity additions and rising electricity prices.
The company closed the July-September quarter with an adjusted net profit of EUR 17 million (USD 19.3m), rising from EUR 16 million a year earlier, in spite of the fact that the period was marked by poor wind conditions. ERG’s CEO Luca Bettonte noted that the addition of fresh wind power capacity in Europe and the earlier acquisition of domestic photovoltaic (PV) operator ForVei and its installed solar capacity of 89 MW played a key role in improving the results.
During the reporting period, ERG completed the acquisition of the 79.2-MW Creag Riabhach wind project in Scotland, the construction of which is set to begin in 2020. It also invested in the owners of two operational wind farms in France totalling 16.25 MW.
On an adjusted basis, third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 7% to EUR 105 million, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) climbed by 5% to EUR 38 million.
Revenues from ordinary operations increased to EUR 250 million from EUR 225 million thanks to the contribution of new assets and the higher electricity prices.
More details about ERG’s third-quarter and nine-month performance can be seen in the table below:
|Amounts in EUR million||Q3 2018||Q3 2017||9mo 2018||9mo 2017|
|— of which wind||40||57||199||227|
|— of which solar||12||N/A||28||N/A|
|— of which hydroelectric||38||19||118||73|
|— of which thermoelectric||18||23||48||63|
|Adjusted net profit||17||16||92||88|
The Italian company’s wind farms produced 578 GWh of electricity in the third quarter, down from 723 GWh a year back. Solar power output came at 45 GWh, while generation from thermoelectric and hydroelectric power plants amounted to 591 GWh and 401 GWh, respectively. While thermoelectric power output declined, hydropower production in the period increased from 232 GWh a year ago due to the abundant water availability.
ERG confirmed its 2018 forecast for EBITDA of between EUR 490 million and EUR 500 million. This includes investments of EUR 520 million-540 million. Net debt is seen at EUR 1.35 billion.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.133)