Alpiq is fit for the future

At its 2011 Annual Media Conference in Zurich on 8 March 2011, Alpiq Holding Ltd. announced its 2010 results. CEO Giovanni Leonardi, CFO Kurt Baumgartner and Michael Wider, Head of Energy Switzerland, looked back on a year filled with challenges and gave an optimistic outlook for the future.

In 2010, despite a highly challenging environment, Alpiq posted consolidated revenue of CHF 14.10 billion (-4.8 percent). At 145.6 TWh, the volume of energy sold rose by 7.6 percent. EBITDA amounted to CHF 1.47 billion (-4.7 percent), while EBIT ended the year at CHF 970 million (-8.8 percent) with Group profit at CHF 645 million (-4.6 percent).

Reviewing the 2010 results in Zurich on 8 March 2011, CEO Giovanni Leonardi said, "Alpiq held its ground well in the last financial year." The Alpiq CEO explained that the Group's approach based on the two income-generating pillars of Energy and Energy Services, coupled with diversification in more than 30 countries across Europe, has proved successful. Alpiq is aiming to further improve cooperation between Energy and Energy Services by stepping up its commitment to energy efficiency. "The Alpiq Group is ideally positioned in this regard," said Leonardi, "because 3,700 Alpiq employees in Switzerland are already working on energy applications and efficiency." Alpiq is aiming both to reduce energy consumption for heating in buildings and industrial applications, and to promote the decentralised production of heat and electricity through highly efficient heat-power cogeneration, and promote sustainable mobility through the use of using electric cars rather than petrol- or diesel-fuelled cars.   Leonardi also presented Alpiq's new 2020 strategy, by means of which Alpiq is aiming to double production, achieve profitable growth and add value over the next ten years. New renewable energies will be accorded greater importance, said Leonardi. Alpiq is aiming to increase its share of total installed capacity from 2 percent at present to around 10 percent by 2020. Alpiq plans to invest CHF 10 billion in the expansion of all production capacities.

Michael Wider, Head of Energy Switzerland, announced Alpiq's goal of installing an additional 700 Megawatts of capacity in Switzerland by 2020 in the form of hydroelectric power stations, on top of existing projects.

Leonardi expressed his satisfaction with the industry agreement on plans to build new nuclear power stations in Switzerland. "This way we can pool our resources and spread the business risks wider. We have taken a major step forward in the interests of energy security for Switzerland," added the Alpiq CEO.

Measures to ensure effective scope for action

CFO Kurt Baumgartner emphasised that the Alpiq Group had achieved satisfactory results despite the difficult market environment. "Alpiq ended the year with better results than we had expected in mid-2010," said Baumgartner, pointing to the fact that Alpiq had confirmed its lead over the main Swiss competitors despite the decline in revenue.

Alpiq is aiming to consistently increase its efficiency and financial scope for action over the next few years. To this end, Alpiq has launched an ambitious programme of initiatives aimed at improving costs and earnings as well as investments and assets. Divestments are also being examined and rapidly implemented wherever feasible. "These measures are intended to enhance our financial position and secure our good rating," announced the CFO. In terms of the outlook for 2011, Baumgartner was cautious. "With the market environment likely to remain difficult, we expect to close 2011 with results on a par with 2010."

Energy Segment battling with low market prices

Alpiq's Energy Segment posted consolidated revenue of CHF 12.0 billion in 2010. Due to low energy prices on European markets and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, this is 5.8 percent lower than the 2009 figure of CHF 12.8 billion. A stronger focus on sales and wholesale operations resulted in a 7.6 percent rise in the volume of energy sold to 145.6 TWh. In 2011 Alpiq expects to see sustained surplus capacities and prices, spreads and exchange rates moving sideways, with a marked improvement likely only from 2013 onwards.

Energy Services Segment results on a par with prior year

Alpiq's Energy Services Segment generated revenue of around CHF 2.1 billion in 2010 - only just below the prior-year figure, despite negative foreign exchange rate effects. As expected, consolidated profit (EBIT) for the Energy Services Segment was CHF 3 million below the prior-year figure at CHF 98 million, mainly due to the much weaker euro versus the Swiss franc and to project delays on the part of customers. Alpiq also expects the Energy Services Segment to close 2011 with incoming orders and results on a par with 2010.

Key figures of the Alpiq Group

 20092010% change
Energy sales (TWh)135.248145.5697.6
Net revenue (CHF millions)14,82214,104-4.8
     Energy12,75612,012-5.8
     Energy Services2,1272,122-0.2
Profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)
(CHF millions)
1,5451,472-4.7
Depreciation and amortisation
(CHF millions)
-481-502-4.4
Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) (CHF millions)1,064970-8.8
Group profit for the period (CHF millions)676645-4.6
     As a percentage of net revenue4.64.6 
Number of employees at the reporting date10,79511,443*6.0

*Growth mainly in the Energy Services segment