PNE AG, which is internationally active in the development and operation of renewable energy projects, closed the first half of 2020 successfully and according to plan. This shows the half-yearly report published today.
"Due to the Corona pandemic, the first half of the 2020 fiscal year was one of the most challenging and unusual in the Company's history. However, we have successfully managed this situation, made further operational progress and performed well financially," concludes Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG, summing up the first half of the year.
First-half results on target
In the first half of the year, the Group generated sales of euro 62.4 million (prior year: euro 65.6 million), total aggregate output of euro 77.0 million (prior year: euro 85.6 million), earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of euro 9.0 million (prior year: euro 18.5 million), operating profit (EBIT) of euro 0.6 million (prior year: euro 12.9 million) and undiluted earnings per share of euro -0.07 (prior year: euro 0.05).
In the first half of 2020, investments in the Company's own projects had a particular impact, since, contrary to the same period last year, no projects have been sold to date. The half-year results are on target. Therefore, the Board of Management confirms the forecast for the entire year. Despite the investments in building up the Company's portfolio of internally held wind farms, PNE is expecting EBITDA of euro 15 to 20 million and EBIT of euro 5 to 10 million for the Group in fiscal 2020.
Dealing with the Corona pandemic
The first half of 2020 was marked by the Corona pandemic and its effects. PNE has adapted to this situation with concepts aligned with the respective markets. The conclusion is pleasing: Despite a sudden changeover to working from home for a period of around six weeks until May, the operational development made good progress. Projects were further developed, tenders won and the construction of further projects started.
It has paid off that internal processes, the organisational structure and the communication technology have been developed to a high level in recent years as part of the "Scale up" programme.
Successful operative development
In spite of the difficult conditions resulting from the Corona pandemic, the first half of the year was successful in operational terms. In Poland, the construction of a 42 MW project sold earlier was completed. The construction of wind farms on behalf of customers in Sweden and Poland has been continued. In Germany, PNE had five wind farm projects with a nominal capacity of 48.7 MW under construction at the end of the first six months, of which 4.2 MW were in the form of a citizen wind park.
At the end of the first half of the year, PNE thus had a total of approx. 293.7 MW of wind energy projects under construction on its own account and for customers.
Further projects may follow, since PNE was successful with two projects (13.9 MW) in the tender in Germany. The Company was also able to obtain approval for a further project (25.1 MW), which was awarded a contract in the tendering round in July.
Expansion of internally operated wind farms makes progress
PNE intends to further strengthen its in-house wind farm operations. PNE currently operates wind farms with 130.1 MW, and more are under construction. The plans are to expand the portfolio of internally operated projects, primarily in Germany, to up to 500 MW by the end of 2023.
Project pipeline strengthened
The basis for the future development of the PNE Group is the "pipeline" of projects, which are in the project development phase. PNE was able to expand the pipeline of onshore wind energy projects to approx. 5,176 MW. It is noteworthy that a new high in the Company's history has been reached with projects of currently approx. 632 MW, which are in the approval phase in Germany and France.
Progress was also made in the development of photovoltaic projects. In this area, the "pipeline" of projects in progress was expanded to 232 MWp.
General political conditions
The general conditions for the expansion of renewable energies in Germany have not become easier. In the case of onshore wind energy, increasingly lengthy approval procedures can be observed and, from time to time, legal action is taken against approvals already granted. With regard to offshore wind energy, the industry is still waiting for reliable framework conditions for future projects and tenders.
Nevertheless, CEO Markus Lesser also sees positive aspects: "It is pleasing that the German government has discussed these problems and has held out the prospect of changes. We are also pleased with the decision to phase out coal, the increase in targets for the expansion of offshore wind energy and the planned "Green Deal" of the European Union. This will strengthen the shift to renewable energy sources and related solutions such as the use of hydrogen."