Swiss Axpo Grows LNG, Renewables Earnings
Swiss utility Axpo’s annual profits and gas sales declined but its LNG sales increased, the company said December 12.
Profits for the 12-month financial year to September 30 2018 were Swiss francs 131mn ($132mn), down 58% from CHF 310mn the preceding year, due to lower Swiss power revenues.
International LNG sales however increased by 17.5% to 23.5 TWh (2.2bn m3 or 1.6mn metric tons). The company procures and trades LNG in the event it is needed for its southern European gas-fired plants, and in August signed a term sheet to buy from a potential east coast Canadian LNG exporter. International earnings generally were higher (see below).
Axpo also said in 2017/18 it received a licence for gas trading in Ukraine and completed its first such transactions there, which it views as a “strategic market” but did not provide volumes.
The company hedges its power production up to three years in advance, so a recent rise in Swiss electricity prices will only boost 2019/20 results. Axpo’s 2017/18 electricity sales volume was down 13% year on year at 59.34 terawatt-hours (TWh) – but its own nuclear plants produced more - while its overall natural gas sales were 70% lower at 2.9 TWh-gas (0.27bn mal).
International earnings improved in 2017/18, particularly energy trading, renewable/hydro power marketing (of which it markets 14 GW across Europe, including 5.8 GW in Spain, 3.2 GW in Scandinavia and 1.3 GW in Italy) and operation of its gas-fired power plants in Italy. It also claimed a first in Portugal, where Axpo financed and built 25 MW solar plant in the city of Evora, the first time on the Iberian peninsula such a project was implemented without government subsidy.