Bern (ots) - 2015 was another successful year for the BKW Group. In a challenging environment, it was able to absorb the negative currency effects and continued fall in energy prices to a large extent. Further improvements in cost management, successful management of energy investments and the systematic and rapid development of the service business all contributed to this result. BKW closed the financial year with strong operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 382 million and very sound net profit of CHF 284 million.
The energy price and currency effects caused BKW's total operating revenue to decline to CHF 2,645 million. However, strong growth in the service business (+34 per cent to CHF 430 million) significantly cushioned this decline, illustrating BKW's reduced dependence on energy prices. At CHF 382 million, operating profit is up 10 per cent year-on-year. This can partly be attributed to BKW's strong operating performance and partly to one-off effects, such as currency conversion of provisions in euro. Furthermore, BKW successfully negotiated compensation payments totalling CHF 28 million for the delayed commissioning of the power plant in Wilhelmshaven. Adjusted for these positive one-off effects, BKW posted strong operating profit of CHF 309 million. As 2015 was a weaker year for stock markets, the decommissioning and waste disposal funds performed below the very strong prior year. This led to a slight year-on-year fall in net profit to CHF 284 million. Operating cash flow increased once again in 2015 and, at CHF 576 million, has reached a new record. This strong result allowed net debt to be reduced by almost 40 per cent to CHF 292 million.
in CHF millions 2014 2015 +/-
Total operating revenue 2,845 2,645 -7 %
EBITDA 528 530 +/-0 %
Operating profit (EBIT) 347 382 +10 %
Net profit 292 284 -3 %
Operating cash flow 538 576 +7 %
Liquidity as at 31.12 1,264 1,394 +10 %
Net debt 470 292 -38 %
Consistently high dividend payment
BKW continues to offer its shareholders a high dividend and therefore a good return. BKW will again propose a dividend of CHF 1.60 per share to the General Meeting for the 2015 financial year.
BKW continues to grow
Over the past few years, BKW has evolved to become an energy and infrastructure service provider with a presence throughout Switzerland. It further bolstered its position in 2015 through various acquisitions. BKW is growing - as shown by the number of employees. In 2015, headcount increased by over 460 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to 3,718 FTEs, of which 70 FTEs can be attributed to organic growth. BKW therefore employs over 4,000 people.
Rapid expansion of the service business
The strategic expansion of the service business is making rapid progress. This area reported significant revenue growth of 34 per cent, while profit could be increased even further, by 53 per cent to CHF 17 million. This is remarkable as it was achieved despite ongoing costs relating to acquisition and integration. Since June 2014, a total of 20 companies have been acquired in the field of building technology (in particular heat and heating installations), network and infrastructure services, engineering services and wind & solar services. Of these, 15 were acquired in the 2015 financial year, including the two largest acquisitions: the antec group and Solare Datensysteme (SDS). Thus BKW is already well positioned in the field of building technology in German-speaking Switzerland thanks to these acquisitions. BKW also further expanded its portfolio in neighbouring countries (Germany, Austria and Italy) through various international acquisitions.
The acquisition of the antec group, one of Switzerland's leading building technology planning groups, means BKW can now offer integrated and compact building technology solutions, from energy consulting and design to engineering and project implementation in the field of building energy efficiency. The acquisition of German firm Solare Datensysteme GmbH has also allowed BKW to tap into a new customer base. With the Solar-LogTM it is now one of the international market leaders in the monitoring and controlling of photovoltaic systems. This enables smooth operation on the one hand and optimised self-consumption on the other. The first synergies in this area were utilised at the end of last year when the BKW Home Energy product was launched. http://www.bkw.ch/de/privatkunden/home-energy/
BKW expects the market environment to remain challenging and to be influenced in particular by sagging energy prices in the 2016 financial year. Through the rapid and systematic development of its business portfolio, BKW expects operating profit for 2016 to be in line with the prior-year level.
Visit the BKW website to watch a review of the 2015 financial year in the form of a web log (available in German only). http://www.bkw.ch/tagebuch2015
The 2015 Annual Report can be downloaded as a PDF from the Download centre: - 2015 Annual Report http://www.bkw.ch/annualreport2015 - 2015 Facts & figures http://www.bkw.ch/ff2015
Hear what BKW CEO Suzanne Thoma has to say about the 2015 financial year here (in German). http://www.bkw.ch/videogb2015
The statements contained in this press release constitute expectations and forward-looking statements. Because these statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the expectations and statements. This press release is issued in German, French, English and Italian. The German version is authoritative.
The BKW Group is a Bern-based international energy and infrastructure company employing over 4,000 people. The diversity of the company's expertise allows it to offer its customers a full range of tailored services. The Group plans, builds and operates infrastructure to produce and supply energy to businesses, households and the public sector. The BKW Group offers a wide range of services, from building technologies, infrastructure engineering and digital business models for renewable energies to traditional multi-utility infrastructure services.
The registered shares of BKW AG are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the BX Berne eXchange.
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