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Berne (ots) - BKW FMB Energy Ltd has recorded gratifying results for fiscal 2005, with a further improvement in profit for the year. Total operating revenue rose by 12.4% or CHF 218.9 million to CHF 1,989.1 million, while profit increased year-on-year by 40.9% to CHF 306.7 million. The results were positively impacted by solid performance on the home market, a clear rise in revenue from trading and international sales, and the above-average financial result. Generator damage at the Leibstadt nuclear power plant was the main negative factor impacting income. In the medium term the BKW Group is planning major investments in the production and network infrastructure with a view to maintaining security of supply.
In 2005 the BKW Group recorded an increase of 3.3% in total energy sales to 18,904 Gigawatt-hours (GWh). The five-month stoppage of production at Leibstadt nuclear power plant resulted in a 34% drop in energy procurement from Leibstadt compared to the previous year. Hydroelectricity production declined by 2.3% to 3,489 GWh due to below-average inflows of water. In terms of peak load energy, however, the BKW Group consolidated its position. Once more the Mühleberg nuclear power plant proved its reliability, producing a total of 2,857 GWh in 2005. This favourable outcome is thanks to the plant's good condition and uninterrupted operations. The BKW Group further consolidated its leading market position in the field of new renewable energies. The solar power plants on the roof of the Stade de Suisse and on Mont Soleil in the Bernese Jura together produced a total of 1.3 GWh. Thanks to two new high-performance turbines and despite light winds, the wind power plant on Mont Crosin generated 20% more electricity.
Higher energy sales in the home market
In 2005 sales of electricity in Switzerland rose by 1.4% to reach 7,058 GWh, as a result of increased demand and new customer acquisitions. The 0.9% drop in revenue to CHF 878.5 million reported by Sales Switzerland was attributable to price measures which were decided on earlier but only became effective in 2005.
Stronger market position abroad
In 2005 the Trade Division skilfully positioned itself in the market and successfully leveraged price differences, recording year-on-year trading growth of 3.2% to 7'044 GWh and an increase of 37.3% in revenue to CHF 490.0 million due to the favourable market environment and opening of the Bernina line at the end of January 2005, which virtually doubled BKW's transmission capacity to Italy. Sales International posted a CHF 56.8 million or 21.4% increase in revenue to CHF 322.9 million as a result of rising average prices for end customers as well as new customer acquisitions.
Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by CH9 million to CHF 431.0 million. Given the price reductions and generally higher energy procurement costs, this figure is higher than anticipated. Operating income (EBIT) rose year-on-year by CHF 50.7 million to CHF 334.9 million. The financial result was positively impacted by extraordinary factors, increasing by CHF 69.6 million to CHF 56.4 million largely on gains on securities related to the decommissioning and disposal funds as well as gains on securities held by BKW. At CHF 307.9 million, cash flow from operations was on a par with the previous-year figure. Consolidated profit for 2005 rose by 40.9% to end the year at CHF 306.7 million.
Closing the supply gap - a key challenge
BKW intends to further pursue its strategy of vertical integration, cooperation with partners and regional presence as well as enhance its autonomy. Given growing shortfalls in electricity supplies and in view of the forthcoming liberalisation of the electricity market, BKW will keep all options open over the next few years and drive ahead expansion of its production, procurement and transport capacities through targeted investments. This can be achieved by stepping up performance at existing plants, increasing its share of regional partner plants, and building or acquiring holdings in new power plants in Switzerland and neighbouring countries.
Outlook for 2006
Based on business performance in the first few months of 2006 as well as current price movements on the international markets, BKW expects to close 2006 with another good result.
2006 General Shareholders' Meeting
Based on this good annual result, BKW will be proposing payment of a dividend of CHF 2.50 per share at this year's General Shareholders' Meeting. Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter will be proposed for appointment to the Board of Directors.
Further information on BKW, the 2005 Annual Report, Facts & Figures and speeches at the Annual Press Conference can be viewed from 12:00 on our website www.bkw-fmb.ch
ots Originaltext: BKW FMB Energie AG
BKW FMB Energie AG
3000 Bern 25