A year of significant progress for NextEnergy Solar
A year of significant progress for NextEnergy Solar – NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has published its results for the year up to 31 March 2018.
The NAV of the company has risen to £605m from £479m. The NAV per share rose by 0.7% from 104.9p in 2017 to 105.1p. The company reported profit before tax of £32.2m (2017: £49.8m) with earnings per share of 5.88p (2017: 13.81p). The cash dividend cover was 1.2x (2017: 1.2x).
Highlights for year ended 31 March 2018
- Gross asset value of £875m (2017: £748m)
- Dividends of 6.42p per share payable (target dividend of 6.65p per share for the 2018/19 financial year)
- Cash dividend cover of 1.2x (2017: 1.2x)
- Gearing of 31% as at 31 March 2018 (2017: 36%)
The chairman reported that all the main targets and goals set at the time of the IPO continue to be met by the company. Additional operating solar projects have continued to be purchased (including in Europe) to provide positive contribution to meeting the company’s return and dividend targets. The post subsidy environment and falling energy prices are challenging for the company.
Over the four years since IPO, the company has achieved an annualised total shareholder return of 8.5% and an annualised NAV total return of 6.3%, in line with the target range of 7% – 9% equity return for investors.
- 63 solar assets as at 31 March 2018 (2017: 41)
- Total capacity installed of 569MW with an invested capital of £734m. At the end of 2017 the company had 41 assets with 454MW capacity and £522m invested capital
Energy generated by the company’s plants amounted to 451GWh up from 394GWh the previous year. This was 0.9% above budget; which represented the fourth year of continuous outperformance.
During the year, the amount of sun light that fell on the plants across the portfolio was 0.9% below their expectations (2017: 0.3% below expectations). The company was able to add value to to this by how the assets were managed and efficiency changes made by the company. The outperformance was achieved despite several plant outages resulting from grid operators’ activities unrelated to their plants. Had these outages not occurred, the company believes their operational performance would have been greater.
The electricity generated by the company’s portfolio is equivalent to a saving of 158,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum and sufficient to power some 124,000 UK homes for a year. This is roughly equivalent to powering a city with 295,000 inhabitants (e.g. Swansea) for an entire year. Solar PV is now contributing materially to total electricity generation in the UK, and the Company is proud to be playing a leading role in this important contribution.
NESF : A year of significant progress for NextEnergy Solar