Message from the Chairman
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Once again, it is a pleasure to share with you the excellent results achieved by EDPR in 2015, having the company proven its capabilities to deliver on the business plan objectives and to extract the maximum profit out of its current asset base that, once again, outperformed the market with very high load factors. We moved forward in our vision of being a global energy renewable company, leader in value creation, innovation and sustainability, with a growing asset base that reached 9.6 GW of installed capacity, maintaining the highest levels of excellence already achieved.
In 2015, EDPR confirmed its positioning as the driver of green energy growth of the EDP Group. A total of 21.4 TWh of green electricity corresponds to a 44% of the total electricity demand of the country of Portugal, saving the emission of about 18.7 millions of tons of CO2, contributing to the world fight against the climate change. This commitment to the environment is clearly present in the EDP Group values, and this year is reinforced by the global recognition of the threaten that climate change represents in the short term, as became evident during the COP 21 Climate Change conference held in Paris, where the international community agreed to act globally to stop it.
In this environment that was established after the Paris agreement, the close to 200 countries congregated in the COP 21 are now committed to reduce global emissions, each one of them submitting their individual contributions according to their realities. European countries are on top of the reduction targets as the European commission set an ambitious objective for 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 and to increase the share of renewable energy to at least 27%.
Our technology represents an immediate and economically competitive solution to fight the climate change. Thus, EDPR will maintain its positioning as a front-runner in the EU market in the years to come.
In addition, the company growth will still rely on the expansion of the US market, where the environmental legislation is still evolving, moving towards an electricity mix with a stronger presence of sustainable energy sources. The execution of our growth plan will be complemented with selected projects in Brazil and Mexico.
This new framework reinforces EDPR positioning on the right side of the energy business, leveraging the company commitment to sustainability aimed at the quality of life for current and future generations, generating the solution that on top of being sustainable is currently the most competitive source of energy, with the only exception of large hydro in some cases. Wind onshore is clearly a preferable technology today to conventional thermal generation on a new-build basis. Even in low fuel prices scenarios, yet historically very volatile, wind farms with strong load factors are still able to be competitive.
On top of that, turbine and solar panel costs have sunk along the past years and financing costs are improving, grounding solid foundations to the expansion of wind and solar PV development.
As a result, EDPR will continue delivering growth on a global scale. The strategic roadmap of focused growth in renewable energy pursued by EDPR and its shareholders puts us a step ahead of the industry and continues to prove successful.
This year, we reached the halfway of our business plan up to 2017, and we are on track to achieve, and even surpass, the defined targets set back in early 2014.
One of the strategic pillars concerns a self-funding model that supports the company growth with competitive funding. The company was committed to cover € 700 million of our € 2.5 billion investment for 2014-17 period.
During 2014 and 2015, the company has already received proceeds for € 800 million, in a clear indicator of the quality of the company’s installed asset base that has attracted the interest of many institutional investors.
Moreover, EDPR continued gaining visibility on its future growth opportunities at a controlled risk, particularly in the US market where we have signed 1.8 GW of long-term sales agreements since early 2013 providing full visibility to the growth target in the US for 2014-17.
All in all, EDPR on target execution will allow the company to deliver solid growth targets toward 2017 and continue to lead in a green and sustainable sector with increased worldwide relevance. In 2015, EBITDA reached an outstanding 1,142M€ and Net Income was 167M€, a +26% and +32% increase vis-à-vis the prior year, respectively.
The company has a dividend pay-out ranging between 25% and 35% of annual Net Profit that contributes to leveraging our shareholders’ returns. Hence, the proposal to be presented at the General Shareholders Meeting of €0.05 per share, within the policy defined.
Evidence of this leverage of our shareholders’ returns is the increase of +34% in the share price of EDPR during 2015, a +88% share price increase for the 2014-15 period, significantly outperforming the PSI20 (gaining +11%) and the DJ SX6E (loosing -5%).
Our strategy, exclusively focused on clean and carbon-free energy generation, is giving us a competitive advantage on a changing environment where environmental awareness increases. Together with our values of support to society and respect for biodiversity, EDPR is evidently assuming a leadership role in sustainability. We reinforce our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact initiative to align our business
with its principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and the fight against corruption.
EDPR this year once again helped its primary shareholder (EDP) to continue being presence among the top performers in the Utilities Sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of the other corporate bodies of the company, namely the Board of Directors, which provided the necessary challenge, support and trust to the team. Also, I would like to express our appreciation to all of those that relate to our company, in particular, shareholders, landowners, partners, suppliers, government and regulators. And most of all, I want to express my gratitude for the hard work and strong dedication of our more than 1000 employees worldwide who have been the cornerstone of the development of the solid base of premium assets with top-notch metrics that we are committed to further develop and improve to continue writing the story of success of EDPR.