Viewed through the prism of a difficult financial and economic situation, a massive drop in prices and negative regulatory factors, the Alpiq Group's results for 2009 give cause for satisfaction. In a challenging environment, consolidated revenue declined year-on-year by 7.4 percent to CHF 14.82 billion. EBITDA also fell to CHF 1.54 billion (-5.0 percent), EBIT to CHF 1.06 billion (-7.2 percent) and Group profit to CHF 676 million (-7.7 percent). All comparisons with the 2008 financial year are based on figures from the pro forma consolidation of the former Atel Group with the activities of EOS and Emosson.
Positive operating result
The main reasons behind the drop in revenue were the significantly lower price level in the European wholesale business, exchange rate effects and regulatory obstacles in the energy trading and sales areas. While the volume of energy sold rose by 4.4 percent to 135.248 TWh, the overall result was adversely affected by general pressure on prices and margins. The economic situation also dampened growth and, particularly in Germany, reduced the contribution made by the Energy Services segment to results.
In operational terms, Alpiq posted positive business performance thanks in particular to the success of Power Generation Switzerland and Central Europe (which recorded exceptionally high availability of power stations) and Asset Trading and Optimisation activities. The Europe-wide sales business and the Swiss part of the energy services business also made gratifying contributions to the results despite facing more difficult conditions. Additional positive factors were the successful performance of the nuclear decommissioning and disposal funds, as well as cost-effective financing activities.
In addition to expenses for the integration of Atel and EOS, the operating result was also encumbered by higher costs arising from ElCom rulings in Switzerland, taxes related to ancillary services for swissgrid, the insolvency of a major sales partner in the Czech Republic, and lower profits from investment interests, particularly A2A of Italy. Finally, higher taxes in various European countries took their toll on the result.
At the Annual General Meeting of Alpiq Holding Ltd. in Lausanne on 22 April 2010, the Board of Directors will propose payment of a dividend totalling CHF 237 million (2008: CHF 218 million) on the increased share capital, or CHF 8.70 per registered share. This corresponds to a payout of 35 percent (2008: 30 percent).
Outlook for 2010
In the medium term the merger between Atel and EOS to create Alpiq will generate additional business and growth opportunities for the company, with initial successes expected to boost the results as early as 2010. Nevertheless, the 2010 financial year will be extremely challenging. Price and margin pressure will continue, and in some areas intensify even further. Only towards the end of 2010 is the economy expected to recover to the extent that would benefit Alpiq's business. The regulatory environment remains challenging, and the implementation and completion of integration work will continue to tie up financial and other resources in 2010. Given these conditions, the company expects to end 2010 with results on a par with 2009, albeit with a further slight decline in revenue.
Key figures of the Alpiq Group
|Comparison with |
pro forma accounts
|2008||2009||Change in %|
|Energy sales (TWh)||129.600||135.248||4.4|
|Net revenue (CHF millions)||16 013||14 822||-7.4|
|Energy||13 828||12 756||-7.8|
|Energy Services||2 242||2 127||-5.1|
|Earnings before interest, tax, |
depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) (CHF millions)
|1 627||1 545||-5.0|
|Depreciation and amortisation||-480||-481||-0.2|
|Earnings before interest and |
tax (EBIT) (CHF millions)
|1 147||1 064||-7.2|
|Group profit (CHF millions)||732||676||-7.7|
|As % of net turnover||4.6||4.6|
|No. of employees at closing date||10 334||10 795||4.5|