2007 annual results

The Atel Group has again recorded excellent results for fiscal 2007: Consolidated net revenue grew by 18.7 percent to CHF 13.5 billion, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached CHF 1,005 million and Group profit CHF 778 million, representing an increase of around 30 percent over comparable prior-year figures. The Board of Directors will for financial reasons propose to the General Meeting to be held on 24 April 2008, instead of a dividend, a reduction in the nominal value of each share from at present CHF 20 to CHF 10.

Atel Group posts marked rise in sales and operating result

Sales and profit higher

The Atel Group, headquartered in Olten and active throughout Europe, closed 2007 on a highly successful note. The Group recorded consolidated net revenue of CHF 13.5 billion (+18.7 percent), earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of CHF 1,005 million and Group profit of CHF 778 million. Excluding the one-off special effects which impacted the 2006 results, EBIT was 31.5 percent higher and Group profit was up by 28.8 percent.

The aforementioned special effects in 2006, amounting to more than CHF 300 million, were mainly related to the reversal of provisions no longer required for Swiss production facilities as well as value adjustments on strategic holdings. Taking these special 2006 effects into account, EBIT narrowed by CHF 101 million or 8.3 percent, and Group profit declined by CHF 117 million or 10.9 percent.

Comparability with prior-year figures is additionally impeded due to the fact that, for the first time, Atel Group financial reporting includes Atel Holding Ltd (formerly Motor-Columbus) in its entirety whereas formerly it covered only Atel Holding's subsidiary Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity (Atel). The differences are in the range of several million francs and are included in the above key figures. The reason for this change is the fact that shareholder structures have been simplified as part of the planned merger between Atel and EOS of western Switzerland. In a public swap offer launched in autumn 2007, Atel shareholders were given the opportunity to exchange their Atel shares for Atel Holding shares to enable Atel Holding Ltd to gain 100 percent control over Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity. At the beginning of January 2008, following completion of this offer, Atel Holding held 99.82 percent of Atel shares. The next steps to gain full control are already under way and should be completed during the first half of 2008.

Successful performance by all divisions

Both business segments, Energy and Energy Services, were instrumental in achieving the Atel Group's good results for 2007. The volume of energy sold climbed 11.4 percent to around 129 TWh. With higher electricity prices in the relevant markets, revenue generated by the segment rose 18.4 percent from CHF 9,716 million to CHF 11,505 million. This encouraging increase was also boosted by the expansion of trading and sales activities across all European markets, in particular those in Italy, France, Scandinavia and Southern/Eastern Europe. In addition, high availability and skilful deployment of power plants, coupled with stable production costs, made a respectable contribution to profit.

In addition to physical energy trading, the Atel Group handled financial futures contracts in standard products amounting to 220 TWh (+9 percent) worth CHF 15.9 billion (+16 percent) in the year under review. The profit of CHF 63 million from these transactions (previous year: CHF 59 million) is included under revenue.

Aided by the favourable economic situation in its main markets of Germany and Switzerland and supported by efficient project management, Energy Services also posted excellent results. Atel Installationstechnik Ltd. (Zurich) and the GAH Group (Heidelberg) increased revenue by 20.5 percent from CHF 1,626 million to CHF 1,959 million. The segment also won major contracts in the year under review, including an order to install the railway technology for the Gotthard base tunnel, as well as various projects to construct conventional large power stations in Europe.

Parallel development of the Aare-Tessin Group

The Aare-Tessin Group (formerly the Atel Group) closed 2007 with revenue of CHF 13.5 billion (+19 percent), EBIT of CHF 1,007 million (+30 percent) on a comparable basis, and Group profit of CHF 795 million (+26 percent). Taking into account the aforementioned special 2006 effects, EBIT declined by 9 percent and Group profit by 11.6 percent.

Outlook

The Atel Group expects to see a further rise in sales and revenue volumes in the current financial year. Barring any extraordinary events, the Group expects to close 2008 with an operating result on a par with 2007. Business performance in the first few weeks of 2008 indicates that this is a challenging target.

Atel Holding Ltd Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity

Note to press editors: The results will be explained in detail at the Annual Media Conference to be held in Olten on 12 March 2008. A personal invitation will be sent in good time.

 

Key figures of the Atel Group

2006
excl. special effects
2006
incl. special effects
2007

Change
(absolute)
in %
Change
(comparative)
in %
Energy sales (TWh) 116116129+11.4+11.4
Net revenue (CHFm) 11 33411 33413 452+18.7+18.7
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) (CHFm) 7641 0961 005-8.3+31.5
Group profit (CHFm) 604873778-10.9+28.8
Number of employees* 8 6739 420+8.6

 * Average number of full-time equivalent employees