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2020-05-05

COVID-19 as it posts sterling financial results

Despite short-term challenges caused by COVID-19, solar power's competitive nature could see it accelerate as we move forward, according to Solarcentury.

The solar developer has seen a bumper year, with revenues increasing by 87% and EBITA growing by a record amount.

In its financial results to 31 March 2020, the company’s underlying EBITDA growth is listed as being in excess of 50% year-on-year, growing from £14 million in 2019. Revenues grew to £187 million, up from £100 million the previous year, as its operations around the world continued to grow.

Profits increased to over £20 million, the highest achieved by the company since it was founded 22 years ago. This is its second record-breaking year for results, reporting a 60% surge in revenues for the year ended 31 March 2019.

It has a 6GWp pipeline of utility scale projects in development, including the company’s first project in its home market since 2016. Solarcentury announced the 62MW site in north Wales, Elwy Solar Energy Farm, in February, citing the growth of subsidy-free solar and falling costs.

The company currently has three projects under construction, two in Spain and one in the Netherlands, cumulatively amounting to 610MWp.

Despite current challenges caused by COVID-19 and the global lockdown, Solarcentury says that its integrated business model with five revenue streams has allowed it to hedge against short-term slowdown in development activity.

It predicts that while in the short-term, falling demand may shake the power sector, this will help to accelerate renewable energy in the medium-term as solar is so economically competitive.

In the meantime, the company states that its balance sheet, which includes £40 million in cash, is strong enough to manage uncertainty and that the health and welfare of its workforce is its priority. O&M activity continues at sites, and teams remain onsite at the three construction projects.

Frans van den Heuvel, chief executive of Solarcentury, hailed the past 12 months as a “landmark year” adding that for the second year in a row the company has seen a robust financial performance.

“With a significantly strengthened balance sheet, we are well positioned to navigate the short-term challenges presented by COVID-19, with sufficient liquidity to deliver our existing 6GWp pipeline across Europe, Latin America and Africa.

“We have acted decisively to protect our people since the outbreak of COVID-19 and I would like to thank them personally for their ongoing resolve in these unprecedented circumstances. Their commitment and spirit give me great confidence that we will continue to thrive on the other side of the pandemic, as we fight what remains the biggest crisis facing our generation; climate chaos.”




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