After a successful 2022 financial year with an increase in net revenue to CHF 157.6 million, the dividend can be increased. The portfolio of renewable energy production plants reaches 736 megawatts.
aventron was able to present its shareholders with a very successful 2022 financial year. aventron’s net revenue rose to CHF 157.6 million in the 2022 financial year (previous year CHF 120.2 million). This increase in performance resulted mainly from the sharp rise in energy prices in the reporting year. However, most European countries passed laws and regulations during the year that led to price caps for energy producers, which also affected aventron’s income. All three types of production – wind, solar and hydro – contributed to this growth. At the end of the year, the portfolio comprised 736 (682) megawatts of consolidated total output via power plants in operation or under construction. This produced a total of over 1.2 billion kilowatt hours of renewable electricity. EBIT was CHF 62.9 (37.2) million and the EBIT margin reached around 40 percent. Profit reached CHF 20.8 (16.9) million. In 2022, investments of CHF 57.9 million were made in the acquisition of existing power plants and in the construction of own production facilities. The balance sheet total as at the balance sheet date was CHF 905.1 (862.0) million.
The voting shareholders, who represented a total of 92.14 percent of the share votes, approved the annual report and the 2022 financial statements without any dissenting votes. The Annual General Meeting followed the proposal of the Board of Directors and decided to distribute a dividend of CHF 0.30 per share (previous year CHF 0.29). Thus aventron once again underlines the earning power of its business model based on renewable energies.
The current members of the Board of Directors Dr. Conrad Ammann (Chairman), Priscilla Leimgruber, Martin Schaub, Michael Stalder, Beat Huber, Nicolas Wyss and Thomas Bitzi were re-elected for a further term of office until 2024.
The diversification characteristics across the six countries, as well as across the three technologies, will have a positive impact on the coming results. In view of the existing, solid project pipeline, the company expects to achieve its target of a renewable energy portfolio of 1000 megawatts by the end of 2030. As before, the portfolio will grow in a balanced way between wind, solar and hydro power in Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Norway.
The Board of Directors of aventron has appointed Eric Wagner as the company’s CEO. He will assume the role of CEO on October 1, 2022.
Eric Wagner has been a member of the Executive Management of aventron since 2014 and was most recently responsible for developing and implementing the investment strategy. Prior to that, he held various management positions. He has been with aventron since 2010 and his achievements include paving the way for the company’s expansion beyond Switzerland and developing a portfolio of wind, solar and hydro power plants in France. Eric Wagner was appointed COO of aventron in 2014 before switching to the role of CIO in 2019. Eric Wagner (56), who comes from France, is a family man and holds a degree from the School of Engineering in Physics from Grenoble.
Eric Wagner: “I am delighted to be able to develop and lead this dynamic and successful company. We are facing some major challenges within a difficult environment, but there are also exciting opportunities within the renewable energy sector. I am very happy to tackle these tasks and have a professional and competent team to rely on.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr Conrad Ammann: “I am delighted that in Eric Wagner we have managed to appoint the ideal CEO for aventron. He is well connected internationally, has in-depth industry knowledge and has many years of top management experience. He is also a performance-oriented and trustworthy leader who is very familiar with the company and its strategy.” Eric Wagner will assume the role of CEO on 1 October 1, 2022.
After nine very successful years at aventron, CEO Antoine Millioud is leaving the company in the fall of 2022. The search for a successor has been initiated.
aventron was founded in 2005 as Kleinkraftwerk Birseck (KKB). When Antoine Millioud took over the management of the company in 2013, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 11.1 million. The growth of the new aventron was consistently focused on renewable energies. Under the leadership of Antoine Millioud, the installed capacity of renewable electricity production has increased tenfold to around 700 megawatts and sales of CHF 120.2 million through the construction and acquisition of solar, hydro and wind power plants. This has made aventron Switzerland’s second largest decentralized renewable power generation company. In step with its strong growth, aventron has always been profitable and has been able to pay out steadily increasing dividends to its shareholders
Board of Directors regrets departure
Antoine Millioud is leaving the company to take on a new challenge. The energy sector expert will become CEO of a leading European solar company. The Board of Directors regrets this decision: “However, we have great understanding for the change and thank Antoine Millioud for his extraordinary commitment to aventron and the expansion of the segment of renewable power generation,” explains Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Conrad Ammann. The Board of Directors has initiated the search for a successor.
In the past financial year aventron developed successfully and increased earnings to CHF 16,9 million. To finance the further development aventron proposes to the general assembly a capital increase of maximum CHF 60 million at an issue price of CHF 11.50 per share.
In the past financial year revenues grew by 16% to CHF 120,2 (previous year 103,7) million. The further expansion of the power plant portfolio and the increased electricity prices contributed to this growth. aventron increased EBIT disproportionately by 18% to CHF 37,2 (PY 31,5) million. The particular market circumstances led to a net income of CHF 16,9 (PY 12,7) million. The earnings per share (eps) grew to CHF 0.35 per share. By the end of 2021 the portfolio consisted of 682 (PY 604) MW installed capacity. The wind segment delivered 49% of the revenues. 32% stemmed from the solar PV segment and 19% from the hydro segment.
Proposed dividend 12% higher
aventron would like its shareholders to participate in these positive results. The Board of Directors thus proposes to the General Meeting to increase the dividend by 11,5% to CHF 0.29 (PY 0.26) per share. The Annual General Meeting of aventron AG will take place on 21 April 2022.
In 2021 aventron invested CHF 36,5 million in the acquisition of existing power plants and in the construction of its own generating capacity. The balance sheet per year end amounts to CHF 862,0 (PY 758,1) million. By the end of 2021 the aventron group held liquid assets totaling CHF 104,7 (PY 75,8) million.
Additional capital increase is planned
At the Annual General Assembly 2022 aventron will seek approval for an additional capital increase consisting of a volume of up to 5,2 million shares. This corresponds to an increase in equity of up to CHF 60 million. The registered shares will be issued at an issue price of CHF 11.50 per share. The planned capital increase is intended to generate additional funds for investments in a diversified portfolio in all the countries in which aventron is active. The intermediate target is to reach a portfolio size of 750 MW by 2023.
aventron achieves important milestone in its storage strategy with the acquisition of a 5 MW battery in Germany.
Storing electricity from wind and solar power plants for days or weeks is an essential complement to renewable electricity production. It enables volatility to be balanced and generation and load to be aligned. aventron aims to steadily increase its available electricity storage volume. In doing so, aventron is focusing mainly on opportunities to raise dams at the intake of its small hydro power plants and using large batteries at its wind and solar power plants.
With regard to electricity storage, a first important project was completed last year with the raising of the dam at the Kvannvatn small hydro power plant in Mo I Rana, Norway. The raising of the dam by 3 m increased the storage volume by the equivalent of 1,195 MWh. With the acquisition of the Wölkisch large-scale battery, aventron is now also entering the field of large-scale battery storage.
The Wölkisch battery has a peak output of 4.8 MW and a storage volume of 5 MWh. The battery is connected to the substation of the Wölkisch wind farm in Saxony. The aventron wind power plant Wölkisch with 12.3 MW installed capacity also feeds into this substation. The Wölkisch battery will initially be used for balancing power, i.e. as a reserve to compensate for fluctuations in the electricity grid.
aventron is likely to implement further utility-scale batteries in the future. It is to be expected that, above all, large capacity ground-mounted solar power plants in Spain and Italy will be equipped with their own battery storage systems. This will make it possible to shift the excess energy produced during the day by a few hours into the evening.