Electricity grid distributor Elering has reported 2019 net profits of €32.8 million, up from €18.6 million in 2018, in part aided by lower financial expenses. The company's main focus last year was the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland.
The company's profits from ordinary activities, according to the audited report for 2019 at the revenue level of €155,2 million, increased by €3.4 million euros, taking into account a contractual penalty of €10.4 million last year, Elering said in a press release.
Profit growth was also supported by a decrease in financial expenses resulting from new bonds issued in mid-2018, at a considerably lower interest rate than before.
Elering's financial expenses fell from €7.4 million to €2.2 million, 2018-2019, the company says.
Elering's sales revenues remained stable, shrinking by 0.6 percent to €142.1 million over the same period.
The small drop was the result of lower transmission volumes, balanced by a growth in income from gas network services, Elering says.
The company's operating costs in 2019 were also fairly stable at €113.4 million, compared with €113.9 million the previous year.
"The focus of Elering's activity in 2019 was on completing construction of Balticconnector to ensure the launch of the common Finnish-Estonian-Latvian gas market operations in early 2020," said Elering management board chair Taavi Veskimägi.
"The top priority for this year is the synchronization of the Baltic electricity systems with those of continental Europe, for operating the power system in the new circumstances after 2025, in such a manner that lights will be kept on and rooms kept warm in homes throughout Estonia. We also have to do this in a manner that supports the attainment of the climate goals of Estonia and the EU," Veskimägi went on.
Elering reported €129 million in investments for 2019, primarily related to Balticconnector, which was opened in December.
At the end of last year, the total assets of the company amounted to a reported €1024.4 million.
Owners' equity amounted to €388.3 million, and interest-bearing debt obligations stood at €343.3 million, the company says.
According to its profit distribution proposal, Elering intends to pay out €20.6 million in dividends for 2020.
Editor: Andrew Whyte