Solid growth in operating earnings and strengthened strategic platform
Increased EBITDA expectations for full-year 2018
Today, the Board of Directors of Ørsted approved the interim report for the first nine months (9M) of 2018. We achieved an operating profit (EBITDA) of DKK 10.8 billion, up 14% compared to 9M 2017. This was mainly due to a 32% increase in operating profits from wind farms in operation.
Our green share of generation increased from 59% to 71%.
We have increased our EBITDA (business performance) guidance, excluding new partnership agreements, by DKK 0.5 billion to DKK 13-14 billion. The increase is primarily due to good progress on our offshore construction projects, which is expected to result in higher earnings on our construction agreements and a faster ramp-up of generation from Borkum Riffgrund 2. In addition, we have had higher than expected earnings in our gas portfolio and LNG business. The Lincoln Clean Energy acquisition will only have a limited impact on EBITDA in 2018.
Our full-year EBITDA for 2018, including the profit from the Hornsea 1 partnership, is expected to be significantly higher than the 2017 EBITDA level of DKK 22.5 billion.
On 8 October, we increased our gross investment guidance from DKK 16-18 billion to DKK 23-25 billion following the agreement to acquire Deepwater Wind. The guidance includes the acquisition price of Deepwater Wind, early investment commitments for the US offshore and onshore wind portfolio in Q4 2018, as well as increased investments in the remaining construction portfolio due to timing across years.
Financial performance in Q3 2018:
CEO and president Henrik Poulsen says:
“During the third quarter we have secured a very strong and long-term growth platform in the American market.
On 1 October, we closed the acquisition of the US-based onshore wind company, Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE). Onshore wind will be run and reported as a separate business unit within the Ørsted Group. Construction of the 300MW-Tahoka wind farm is nearing completion. All wind turbines have been installed, and the project is currently being commissioned. By the end of the year, LCE will therefore have an operational capacity of 813MW. In addition, LCE has a portfolio of 700MW in advanced stages of development that can enter into construction during the coming year.
On 8 October 2018, we announced that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Deepwater Wind at a price of USD 510 million (enterprise value of USD 700 million). Deepwater Wind is the leading US-based offshore wind developer with an attractive and geographically diverse portfolio of projects along the US East Coast. The total potential capacity of approx 3.3GW consists of 30MW in operation, 810MW of offshore wind development projects with long-term revenue contracts in place or under negotiation and approx 2.5GW which potentially can be developed in three awarded lease areas.
In September we signed an agreement to farm-down of 50% of Hornsea 1 to Global Infrastructure Partners, and we expect to close the transaction within the coming weeks. The farm-down is one of the largest renewable energy M&A transactions of all time, and the valuation underpins the attractiveness of our offshore wind assets.
In June, we announced our plans to divest our Danish power distribution and residential customer businesses. We have seen good interest from the market and the preparations are progressing according to plan.
Looking at our financial performance, we delivered strong results and managed to increase earnings by 14% in the first nine months. Especially our offshore wind business contributed with earnings from offshore wind farms in operation increasing by 32%.
We've increased our EBITDA (business performance) guidance, excluding new partnership agreements, by DKK 0.5 billion to DKK 13-14 billion. The increase is primarily due to good progress on our offshore construction projects, faster ramp-up of generation from Borkum Riffgrund 2, and higher than expected earnings in our gas portfolio and LNG business.
We remain very pleased with the operational and financial performance of the company as we continue to expand our position as a global leading company in the green energy industry.”