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Primeo Energie on a growth trajectory

Primeo Energie continued to grow in 2019. All key operating figures were up on the previous year. All business segments have solid foundations and are well positioned to compete. The sustainability report is included in the annual report and complies, for the first time, with GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards. At the moment, we are concerned with protecting our employees’ health. The main objective is to continue, despite coronavirus, to ensure a high-quality supply of electricity and heat. The Delegates’ Meeting on 22 April 2020 will take place without delegates actually attending, with all votes being conducted in writing alone.

  • Group sales up 8% to CHF 696 million
  • Operating result (EBIT) up 6% to CHF 67 million
  • Net profit of CHF 32 (previous year 46) million
  • Solid capital ratio of 59%

In terms of coronavirus, the current focus is on protecting all employees and maintaining the energy supply. Primeo Energie is an operator of critical infrastructure facilities and one of 12 supply companies directly linked up to the Swiss high-voltage grid. The top priority is to protect employees against infection and ensure smooth delivery of the entire energy supply at all times. Knowing a pandemic was on the way, Primeo Energie has already devised and introduced comprehensive behavioural and preventive measures. The supply of electricity and heat is guaranteed for all customers.

The 2019 financial year was a success, with Primeo Energy again achieving good results across the four business segments (Electricity, Grid, Heating and Renewable Energies). Total sales were up 8% on the previous year to CHF 696 million. The operating result (EBIT) was up 6% to CHF 67 million. At CHF 32 million, net profit is better than the previous year’s figure, which was influenced by one-off effects. Totals assets amount to CHF 2.2 billion, an increase of CHF 63 million on the previous year. With a capital ratio of 59%, Primeo Energie still benefits from solid capitalisation.

In the Electricity segment, electricity and gas sales, and associated sales activities, continued to develop nicely. Swiss B2B sales are steady, with margins typical for the market. Electricity sales are unchanged from a general supply perspective. The electricity-related service business is still being expanded and recording steady growth in sales. In the reporting period, a total of 7,282 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were sold in Switzerland and France to customers in the market and under general supply arrangements. Of this, 2,300 million kilowatt-hours relate to the French market.

The Grid segment continues to develop at a steady pace. In order to guarantee a secure and reliable electricity supply, Primeo Energie invested CHF 44 million in the development, replacement and maintenance of grid infrastructure in the reporting period. As regards decentralisation within the energy world, there has been a pleasing increase in the number and output of photovoltaic systems, e-mobility charging points, electricity storage units (home storage systems) and private consumption alliances including own-consumption communities. New applications and technologies are asking an awful lot of distribution system operators. This is why Primeo Energie is constantly adapting its grid infrastructure to the changing situation and, in particular, driving forward with digitalisation.

Given the mild weather, Primeo Energie's heating business is delivering average but solid performance. Thanks to the development of various heating associations and with new heating customers being connected, heating sales were up from 594 million kilowatt-hours in the previous year to 645 million. Activities are largely focused on north-west Switzerland, where moves are under way to establish two high-quality sites for regional technology hubs via the current “BaseLink” and future “uptownBasel” initiatives. As of the end of 2019, Primeo Energie was running 217 heating associations and heating facilities in Switzerland and France.

The Renewable Energies segment developed steadily and profited from rising electricity prices. With construction of a 50 MW solar power plant starting at Bargas near Toledo in Spain, aventron has reached another major milestone. The Bargas project is one of the first of its kind, with electricity being produced from renewable energy without subsidies and fed into the grid. As of the end of 2019, aventron’s power plants were achieving an installed capacity of 546 megawatts across the three areas of wind, solar and hydropower. In total, aventron was producing 904 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity, making it the third biggest of the Swiss energy firms and funds with stakes in new renewable energies.

And now we come to the sustainability report in accordance with GRI standards. The development of the business from a one-time regional energy supplier to one of the leading national providers of innovative energy-related products and services is in full swing. Primeo Energie is in very good shape – from both a financial and human resources perspective – and is well equipped to cope successfully with the challenges the next few years will bring. This is also evident in the newly expanded and substantial sustainability report, which complies with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and is contained in the annual report for 2019.

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