Forbach, France, October 19, 2020 – 6 p.m. – La Française de l’Énergie (Euronext: LFDE – ISIN: FR0013030152) has recorded further growth in its gas production volumes in the 1st quarter of 2020/2021 (+ 5%) and reports a gradual rise in gas and electricity prices in Belgium. Although below the levels of the previous year, this trend is observed in October and should be confirmed towards the end of the year with winter time.
This positive trend is not yet reflected in the Group’s first quarter revenues, which amounted to € 1.5 million compared to € 1.8 million last year. In addition to the unfavorable price effect over the period (-42% on gas), activity was also hampered by the exceptional slowdown in the production of green electricity during the summer.
Return to full production capacity after a temporary slowdown of green electricity over the first quarter
In the first quarter of 2020/2021, the green electricity production activity achieved a turnover of € 1.3 million, down by 15% compared to last year. This exceptional decrease is related on one hand, to the high temperatures in August requiring a reduction in the power of the CHPs in order to avoid damage due to overheating, and on the other hand to a long maintenance on a CHP unit following premature wear of the engine block. From mid-September onwards, the Group has regained its full production capacity.
In Belgium, the restart of the activity was accompanied by a significant rise in electricity prices. Thus, the average price over the 1st quarter (33.3 € / MWh) has almost returned to the level of last year (34.1 € / MWh) and has effectively doubled compared to the 4th quarter 2019/2020 (16,8 € / MWh). In France, the Group benefits from a guaranteed feed in tariff1, enabling it to decorrelate 74%2 of its revenues from the market.
To date, the Group has gone back to optimal production with an average availability rate of over 95% on its entire activity.
Continuous increase in gas production volumes (+5%) masked by an unfavorable price effect.
In line with the previous financial year, the gas production activity recorded a further increase of 5% in volumes over the 1st quarter of 2020/2021 despite several weeks of maintenance on the GRTgaz network, showing the reliability of the Avion site. However, the average price of gas over the period (€ 6.2 / MWh) remains below last year (€ 10.8 / MWh) and brings the turnover for this 1st quarter to € 0,2 M compared to € 0.3 M last year.
Strong increase in revenues confirmed for 2021 and 2022
The Group will be able to rely on the commissioning of 2 new CHP units, in January 2021 on its Béthune site, and will continue to foster its overall installed capacity in 2021 with the installation of 5 additional CHPs on its existing sites.
Supported by a fully operational installed capacity and a gradual rise in prices, La Française de l’Énergie confirms its ambition to achieve annualized revenue of € 35 million with an EBITDA margin of over 45% by end of 2022.
Next press release :
Presentation of annual results : October 20th 2020
December 3rd, 2020 – Shareholders’ meeting