PNE AG - Der Hauptsitz des Unternehmens in Cuxhaven

PNE AG: Targets achieved for fiscal year 2023 and growth course continues

  • EBITDA in the upper guidance range
  • Strategic goals of Scale up 1.0 achieved or significantly exceeded
  • Pipeline of projects in development still with record growth

Cuxhaven, March 27, 2024 – 2023 was a very successful year for PNE AG. As a result of successful operational business developments, total aggregate output amounted to euro 267.8 million (prior year: euro 243.3 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to euro 39.9 million (prior year: euro 35.4 million). Operating profit (EBIT) totalled euro 5.7 million (prior year: euro 6.2 million). The basic earnings per share amounted to euro -0.13 (prior year: euro 0.20). PNE AG is therefore in the upper range of the guidance for Group EBITDA of 30 to 40 million. The company published its report for the 2023 financial year today.

"We have delivered and we are moving forward”, explains Markus Lesser, CEO of PNE AG. "With the 'Scale up' strategy, we have initiated the further development of PNE AG into a Clean Energy Solutions Provider in 2017. The aim was to broaden the range of business segments, both in terms of technology and of geography. We have all achieved or, in some cases, significantly exceeded the ambitious targets we set ourselves for 2023. We are very proud of that. This is mainly because EBITDA also reached the upper range of the guidance. This was challenging in light of the special market environment."

Expansion of wind farms in operation or construction above target
The objective of PNE AG's corporate strategy is, among other things, to expand its own operating portfolio of wind farms and photovoltaic plants (PV plants). After the completion and acquisition of further wind farms, the nominal capacity of the wind farms operated by the Company in 2023 increased from 318.9 MW to 369.8 MW. Further wind farms (around 281.3 MW in total) are under construction in Germany and France and were taken over into our own operations. PNE AG thus significantly exceeded the objective of the 'Scale up' corporate strategy of having 500 MW in operation or under construction by the end of 2023. PNE is very optimistic that it will achieve further expansion to 1,500 MW/MWp under construction or operation by the end of 2027 in accordance with the 'Scale up 2.0' strategy extension.

"Hidden reserves" created with the establishment of the wind farm portfolio
With the establishment of its own wind farm portfolio, the PNE Group has created "hidden reserves", which are not immediately recognisable. As a result of the investments in PNE’s own projects, pre-tax profits totalling euro 208.4 million were eliminated at Group level by the end of 2023, of which euro 31.4 million in fiscal 2023 (prior year: euro 42.5 million).

Project pipeline continues to reach record growth
The PNE Group has further expanded its project pipeline, i.e. the portfolio of projects in development, and continued its record growth. The pipeline increased to a total rated output of 19,101 MW/MWp (previous year: 11,883 MW/MWp). Wind onshore energy projects accounted for 9,177 MW (previous year: 7,587 MW), PV projects for 7,424 MWp (previous year: 4,296 MWp) and offshore wind energy projects for 2,500 MW. This is the basis for the further development of the PNE Group, especially in times of scarce areas for the expansion of wind and photovoltaic projects.

PV project sales in international markets
In Italy and especially in Romania, the PNE Group achieved operational success on international markets in 2023. At the end of the year, the PNE Group in Italy sold a package with a total of 12 PV projects and a total output of 114 MWp to an infrastructure fund. In the middle of the year, the PNE Group in Romania sold a package of five projects to the French energy group. The PV systems have a combined output of 208 MWp. In addition, at the end of 2023, a PV project with an output of 61.5 MWp was sold to a local company in southern Romania.

More assets under management in the service business
The PNE Group has also further expanded its business and competence related to wind turbine services in 2023. With operations management contracts for wind farms, the PNE Group is also well established internationally in this area. Overall, the nominal capacity of the wind farms managed rose to more than 2,900 MW and therefore more than 1,000 plants.

The "Services" segment also includes the brokerage of short- and long-term power purchase agreements (PPA). In 2023 alone, the PNE Group completed PPAs for 39 wind and PV project companies with a total output of over 337 megawatts.

Dividend proposed
For the 2023 fiscal year, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board propose that a dividend of euro 0.04 as well as a special dividend of euro 0.04 for each no-par value share entitled to a dividend in the 2023 fiscal year be distributed from PNE AG’s retained earnings totalling euro 273,129,231.11. The remaining retained earnings shall be carried forward to a new account.

Positive outlook
The PNE Group is making good progress with the implementation of the further development of the 'Scale up 2.0' strategy. Even at the beginning of the 2024 financial year, there were numerous successes. In Germany, for example, the wind farms "Stuvenborn", "Zinndorf" and "Odensachsen" with a total output of 26.4 MW successfully passed the February tender of the Federal Network Agency. In addition, the "Lütau" wind farm with an output of 28.5 MW has received approval under the Federal Immission Control Act.

In the coming years, the PNE Group wants to continuously expand its own generation portfolio of wind farms and PV plants and increasingly become an independent power producer (IPP). This is based on the long-standing core business, which is the project development.

At the same time, PNE will systematically drive forward the expansion of services, technologies and markets. The overall business benefits from the synergies arising from the three segments "project development", "electricity generation" and "service products".

"We are making good progress with the implementation of the further development of the 'Scale up 2.0' strategy. The growth course has been set and the defined targets are achievable. We are motivated to meet the challenges that lie along our path. The necessary changes in the organization have begun. The project pipeline has reached another record high. So our foundation for the future is there," says Markus Lesser. "In fiscal 2024, as in previous years, PNE will have further upfront expenditure in the low single-digit million range for the strategic expansion of the business model. We expect Group EBITDA of euro 40 to 50 million in respect of our guidance for the 2024 fiscal year."

PNE-Ansprechpartner Alexander Lennemann
Alexander Lennemann