European Energy raises earnings forecast after ‘solid’ year of growth

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European Energy's 103MW solar farm in southern Italy, which was completed in July. The company said its solar and wind portfolio will exceed 1GW by the end of 2020 Image: European Energy

Renewables developer European Energy has upgraded its results forecast for 2020, setting its predicted EBITDA to €60 million (US$72.4 million).

Chief executive Knud Erik Andersen said the company reported “solid” earnings last year despite supply chain disruption and project delays plaguing the solar industry throughout 2020’s global COVID-19 lockdown, and expected European Energy to “grow considerably in 2021”, raising its EBITDA forecast from the original €52-€58 million (US$62.7-$69.94 million) predicted last year. It has also forecasted pre-tax profits of €37 million ($44.6 million), in line with expectations set out at the start of 2020.

European Energy said it expects to pass the 1GW capacity mark for its solar and wind project portfolio this year, 750MW of which will connect to the grid, and earn pre-tax profits of €50 million (US$60.3 million) by the close of 2021. A spokesperson for the group told PV Tech European Energy plans to construct more than 500MW of solar energy this year.

Anderson said in April that the developer struggled with “minor interruptions at construction sites in some markets” at the start of the pandemic, but maintained an earnings forecast around €10 million (US$12.6 million) above EBITDA made in 2019. Since then, the company’s electricity sales have rebounded amid a renewed confidence in the renewables sector. European Energy recorded revenue of €40.7 million (US$49.1 million) by the third quarter of 2020, alongside profit before tax of €3.2 million (US$3.9 million) in the third quarter.

The company benefitted from a 73% rise in electricity sales in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the previous year, while electricity sale revenues from solar assets increased “more than tenfold compared to the same period in 2019” the company said in October. Its annual report is due to be released on 28 February.

European Energy completed a 103MW solar farm in southern Italy in June 2020, lauding it as the country’s largest to date, having already secured a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Swiss utility Axpo for 300MW of future projects in the country. Andersen said last summer that the company, which secured €96.5 million (US$113.59 million) in funding for the 103MW solar park from French financial firm Naxis, will invest roughly €800 million (US$964.7 million) over the next 5 years to develop renewable energy projects in Italy.

European Energy has also said it will build a 300MW solar farm in Aabenraa, Denmark, this year, connecting it to the grid by the end of 2021, and has teamed up with North Yorkshire’s Norstar to build 200MW of projects in the UK across 12 solar farms in Yorkshire, the North East and Lincolnshire

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