Bern (ots) - The BKW Group put in another positive performance in 2014, presenting very strong results results for the past financial year. A sharp rise was recorded in both operating profit (EBIT) and net profit. On the cost side, consistent cost management is bearing fruit.
With total operating revenue at CHF 2.845 billion, BKW generated a strong operating income of CHF 347 million, corresponding to an increase of close to 10 percent versus the adjusted prior-year result. The negative effects of low electricity prices were party offset by BKW's success in marketing and hedging its trading and production portfolio. On the EBIT side, higher productivity and cost cutting also contributed to the very good result. In addition, BKW recorded significant growth in the area of energy and infrastructure services, and in particular in network services. Total revenue from services grew by 20 percent. BKW's net profit rose by 75 percent to CHF 292 million, due on the one hand to the significantly improved EBIT contribution, and on the other to one-off items such as the sale of the Group's interest in the Jungfrau Railways last summer and the good performance of the Decommissioning and Disposal Funds for Mühleberg nuclear power plant.
Marked increase versus to the adjusted prior-year result
CHF m 2013 2013 adjusted 2014
Total operating revenue 2733.7 2733.7 2844.9
Operating income (EBIT) -171.6 316.9 346.7
Net profit -216.7 166.4 291.9
Higher dividend for shareholders
BKW wants shareholders to share in the higher profit and will propose to the Annual General Meeting an increase in the dividend from CHF 1.20 to CHF 1.60 per share. This is based on net profit minus the one-off items to be adjusted. The payout ratio therefore remains constant at 40 percent.
Consistent implementation of strategy
Last year, by building up the heating business, BKW laid an important foundation for further growth in energy and infrastructure services. BKW is continuing to pursue its policy of strategic acquisitions with a view to offering comprehensive energy solutions for private and business customers. At the end of 2014, BKW also set up the Engineering business unit. The new BKW unit specialises in hydro and nuclear power engineering services, ranging from the planning, construction and maintenance of production plants to risk and safety analysis as well as economic viability studies. BKW sees major growth opportunities in this area, which will enable it to make its know-how available to other energy companies around the world.
We are investing in the future
As part of its ongoing drive to expand renewable energies, BKW purchases wind farms abroad, builds small hydroelectric power plants in Switzerland and has a significant stake in two of Europe's largest current run-of-river projects: Hagneck, and the Inn power plant on the Swiss-Austrian border. Overall, BKW is planning investments of around CHF 4 billion between now and 2024. Around half of this will go towards maintaining the value of our infrastructure (divided equally between power generation and networks), and one billion will be spent on new investments in the field of renewable energies. The remaining billion is earmarked for building up and expanding the energy and infrastructure services business.
Outlook for the current financial year
BKW does not intend to rest on its 2014 laurels. There are no signs that the market situation is easing, given the ongoing distortions in the electricity sector triggered by subsidies for individual power generation technologies and the ousting of "classical" electricity production from the market. Prices on the European electricity exchange remain extremely low. Finally, the Swiss National Bank's decision to lift the cap on the minimum Euro exchange rate will leave its mark on the 2015 results. In all probability, therefore, 2015 will end with lower results than the strong figures achieved in 2014. Nevertheless, BKW expects to perform successfully in the current financial year.
The 2014 Annual Report and Financial Report can be downloaded from: www.bkw.ch/report14 www.bkw.ch/financial-report14
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 media release is issued in German, French, English and Italian. The German version is authoritative.
BKW is an internationally active energy and infrastructure company with registered office in Bern. Along with its subsidiaries, it currently employs around 3,500 staff. Thanks to the wide range of expertise which BKW brings together under one roof, it is able to offer customers across Switzerland comprehensive, tailor-made energy services. BKW plans, builds and operates power generation and supply infrastructures for businesses, private customers and public authorities. Through its distribution networks - the largest in Switzerland - BKW delivers electricity reliably and around the clock to one million people. BKW takes its social responsibility seriously. Besides promoting renewable energies, it is committed to efficient resource management and engages in research programmes to develop innovative technologies for a sustainable, secure and forward-looking supply infrastructure. BKW Inc. registered shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the BX Berne eXchange.
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