PNE AG closed the 2021 business year very successfully. The Group’s Annual Report 2021, published today, shows total aggregate output of euro 252.0 million (prior year: euro 151.7 million) as a result of successful operational business developments. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amount to euro 32.7 million (prior year: euro 26.3 million) and operating profit (EBIT) to euro 9.3 million (prior year: euro 8.2 million). The basic earnings per share amount to euro 0.33 (prior year: euro 0.02). This means that the guidance for Group EBITDA of euro 24 to 32 million was slightly exceeded.
Successful operating business in Germany and abroad
In project development, the PNE Group was able to made excellent progress despite some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company obtained further approvals, was awarded contracts in tenders, commissioned wind farms and started the construction of further wind farms. In fiscal 2021, the PNE Group completed, sold or started construction of wind farm and photovoltaic projects with approx. 1,076.1 MW/MWp (prior year only wind energy: 461.2 MW). This figure was thus more than double that of the previous year, and an unprecedented level in the Company’s history was achieved.
Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG, comments on the excellent business results: "2021 was an exceptionally successful year for PNE AG, both financially and operationally. We increased the output, i.e. wind energy and photovoltaic projects sold, completed or under construction, to over 1,000 MW/MWp and we sold more projects than ever before, including the first photovoltaic projects, at 773 MW/MWp. In addition, we continued to invest significantly in our own portfolio of wind farms and expanded it considerably. And despite the sales and project realisations, our project pipeline was again significantly increased by nearly 1,000 MW/MWp."
Expansion of internally operated wind farms makes progress
Due the completion and acquisition of further wind farms, the nominal capacity of the wind farms operated by the Company increased from 134.8 MW to 233.2 MW. Further wind farms intended for PNE’s own portfolio are under construction and in the approval process. The portfolio of projects completed or under construction in the Company’s own portfolio, primarily in Germany, will be expanded to up to 500 MW by the end of 2023.
"Hidden reserves" created with the establishment of the wind farm portfolio
With the development 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 134.6 million were eliminated at Group level by the end of 2021, of which euro 53.0 million in fiscal 2021 (prior year: euro 50.0 million).
Project pipeline is growing
At the end of 2021, the companies of the PNE Group were working on onshore wind farm projects with more than 5,706 MW of nominal output to be installed (prior year: 5,405 MW). This means that the project pipeline, i.e. the portfolio of projects under development, was expanded further. Also noteworthy is the high number of projects with approx. 751 MW (prior year: 642 MW) of planned nominal capacity, which are currently in the approval phase in Germany and France. This means that the high volume of projects in the final phase of project development has increased compared with the previous year.
There has also been significant progress in the development of photovoltaic projects. Here, the pipeline more than doubled in one year: from projects with a planned capacity of 548 MWp at the end of 2020 to 1,210 MWp at the end of 2021. The markets of Germany, Italy, Romania and the USA have now been joined by France, Canada, Poland and South Africa.
Service business on course
Once again, the PNE Group has further expanded its competence in services related to wind turbines and is broadly positioned in the market in the fields of safety technology for wind turbines and industrial plants, aviation obstruction markers for wind power turbines and rope access technology. With operations management contracts for wind farms in Germany, France, Poland and Sweden, the PNE Group is also well established internationally in this area. In total, the order volume managed was expanded to cover wind farms with a nominal capacity of more than 2,000 MW.
Markus Lesser: "The operational development of the PNE Group shows: in fiscal 2021, we again made good progress in implementing our strategic expansion to become a Clean Energy Provider through our "Scale up" concept and we can now harvest the first fruit. We are on a good and successful path."
For the 2021 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 2021 fiscal year be distributed from PNE AG’s retained earnings totalling euro 231,127,360.22. The remaining retained earnings shall be carried forward to a new account.
Tailwind for 2022
Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG: "The PNE Group is well positioned for its further development. This is demonstrated by the successful close of the 2021 fiscal year. The course for the coming years is clear: we will continue to strengthen the core business of project development and internal operations while, at the same time, consistently push ahead with the expansion of services, technologies and markets. In fiscal 2022, we will have upfront expenditure in the low single-digit million range for the strategic expansion of the business model. We expect Group EBITDA of euro 20 to 30 million in respect of our guidance for the 2022 fiscal year."