Atel Group: 1999 operating results

The Atel Group increased its turnover in 1999 by 5.7% year-on-year to CHF 1.9 billion, and consolidated profit now stands at CHF 107 million, up 5.9% on the prior year. Energy sales reached a record high of 29 billion kWh. These results were achieved by expanding European electricity trading, improvements in procurement thanks to optimum hydrological conditions and competitively priced thermal production.

Energy trading expanded

The Olten-based electricity trading group Aare-Tessin Electricity Company Ltd. has drawn up its consolidated accounts in accordance with International Accounting Standards (IAS) for the first time. At the same time as this changeover on 31.12.1999 value adjustments of CHF 600 million were set aside, of which CHF 450 million were charged to existing reserves and CHF 150 million to the 1999 results.

1999 was a successful year for Atel. European energy trading expanded considerably and installation business in Switzerland increased further. Energy sales rose year-on-year by 8% to a new record high of 29 billion kWh and Group net turnover also advanced 5.7% to CHF 1.9 billion. This growth was partly attributable to the inclusion of the Elektro-Sanitär Group, St. Gallen that was acquired in 1999. Cash flow jumped by more than 20% in the period to around CHF 550 million. Despite significant value adjustments, pre-tax earnings on ordinary activities were up slightly on the prior year at CHF 134 million. Consolidated profit now stands at CHF 107 million, 5.9% higher than the prior year.

In the 1999 financial year, the parent company Aare-Tessin Electricity Company Ltd. generated net sales of CHF 1.6 billion (1998: CHF 1.5 billion) and cash flow of CHF 530 million (1998: CHF 462 million). Due to a value adjustment of CHF 150 million, reported earnings for the year are CHF 60 million (1998: CHF 59 million). The installation companies and Sopracenerina Group ended the year in profit, but the Colenco Group was affected by capacity problems and is to be restructured.

The Board of Directors will propose an unchanged dividend of CHF 18 per registered share with a nominal value of CHF 100 at the annual general meeting of shareholders on 25 May 2000. Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity Corporate Communications Full details on the 1999 financial year will be given at the press conference on 3 May 2000 in Olten.