Half-year with EBITDA reduction and investment recovery
• EBITDA falls around 3.9% to €227.94M
• Renewable production reached 68% of the total supply of electricity
• Solar surpassed 800 MW for the first time
• Cost of debt falls to 1.6%
• New Strategic Plan with a reinforced commitment to sustainability well received by the market
REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais reported a net profit of €39.5M in the first half of 2021, a year-on-year decrease of €6.5M. EBITDA contributed negatively to this net profit, penalised by the reduction in the remuneration of the Regulated Asset Base. Financial results made a positive contribution, benefiting from the reduction in the cost of debt from 1.9% to 1.6%. EBITDA reached €227.94M, a decrease of 3.9% compared to the same period in 2020.
CAPEX increased by €18.7M to €79.3M, while transfers to the Regulated Asset Base increased by €7.3M to €16.9M. It should be noted that the pandemic continues to have an impact on the company's activity, resulting in a few delays in projects under development.
At the beginning of April, REN held its first issue of 'Green Bonds', in the amount of €300M, maturing in eight years, and with demand five times greater than supply. The issue came two months after the company was certified by the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS-ESG) with the Prime rating, considering that the company makes a 'significant contribution to the achievement of the sustainable development goals'.
Regarding renewable energies, REN signed bilateral agreements for the connection to the grid of 14 solar plants that will total a solar installed capacity of 3.5 GW.
Service quality remained at a very high level, both for electricity and natural gas, with 0.00 minutes of electricity interruption time and a combined natural gas availability rate of around 100%.
In May, REN presented the Strategic Plan for the 2021-2024 period, which reinforces its commitment to the transition to green energy without jeopardising the financial solidity and outstanding operational performance that have characterised the company. REN also seeks to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2030 (compared to 2019), achieving carbon neutrality in 2040, ten years earlier than set by the European Union.
In the first half of the year, renewable production supplied 68% of electricity consumption, broken down by hydropower (32%), wind (26%), biomass (7%), and photovoltaics, which for the first time reached peaks above 800 MW, with 3%. Non-renewable production supplied 29% of consumption, with natural gas accounting for 27% and coal for 2%. The remaining 3% were imported energy.
In June, electricity consumption recorded a 6.7% year-on-year growth (or 7.1% when correcting for temperature and number of working days). At the end of the first half, there was a slight trend of recovery vis-à-vis the previous year, with a year-on-year growth of 3.2% (or 3.4%, when correcting for temperature and working days), although a decrease of 2% compared to the same period of 2019 was recorded.
In the natural gas market there was an 18% monthly variation when compared to the same period of the previous year, split between 11% in the conventional segment and 29% in the power production segment.
At the end of the first half of the year, despite a 3.3% drop in consumption for power production, there was a positive year-on-year variation of 5.1%, driven by the 8.9% growth in the conventional segment. Compared to 2019, there is a decrease of only 0.6%.
Initiatives that marked the six-month period
In May, a new App for investors was launched, updating the one launched in 2016, and seeking to make relevant information available to this group of stakeholders, whether with news about the company's operations or with financial information updated in real time. This commitment to improving digital communication tools also resulted in the launch of the Data Hub in June. This platform aggregates and provides updated quantitative data about the Portuguese energy sector. The information is made available in open data, and the website enables further segmentation of the data, such as the breakdown of production by primary source and the inputs and outputs of the transmission networks.
As part of the policy of supporting local communities, at the end of the half-year, nine off-road vehicles were delivered to voluntary fire brigades, thus reinforcing the company's commitment to the prevention and fighting of rural fires.