Fortum Interim Report January−March 2016: Satisfactory results, considering continuously weak power prices

FORTUM CORPORATION INTERIM REPORT JANUARY-MARCH 2016 28 April 2016 at 9:00 EET
 
January−March 2016, continuing operations
- Comparable operating profit EUR 275 (343) million, -20%
- Operating profit EUR 369 (350) million, of which EUR 94 (7) million relates to items affecting comparability
- Earnings per share EUR 0.37 (0.33), +12%, of which EUR 0.08 (0.01) related to items affecting comparability. Earnings per share in the corresponding period of 2015, including the effect from discontinued operations, were EUR 0.40
- Cash flow from operating activities totalled EUR 375 (516) million, -27%
- Fortum completed its multi-year investment programme in Russia
- Fortum acquired the Polish electricity and gas sales company Grupa DUON S.A.
- Fortum sold its 665-MW Tobolsk CHP plant in Russia
- Fortum launched a new vision, strategic cornerstones and updated financial targets
- Fortum business structure reorganised and new Executive Management Team in place as of 1 April 2016
 
Summary of outlook
-
Fortum continues to expect the annual electricity demand to grow in the Nordic countries by approximately 0.5% on average in the coming years
-
Power and Technology segment's Nordic generation hedges: for the rest of 2016, approximately 60% hedged at approximately EUR 30 per MWh; for 2017, approximately 30% hedged at approximately EUR 28 per MWh
-
Operating profit level (EBIT) for the Russia segment, RUB 18.2 billion, is targeted to be reached during 2017-2018. The euro-denominated result level will be volatile, due to the translation effect
 
 
Key financial ratios *
2015
LTM
Return on capital employed, %
22.7
22.5
Comparable net debt/EBITDA
-1.7
-1.9
* Key financial ratios are based on total Fortum, including discontinued operations
 
 
 
Key figures
I/16
I/15
2015
LTM
Sales, EUR million
989
1,040
3,459
3,408
Operating profit, EUR million
 
 
 
 
continuing operations
369
350
-150
-131
     discontinued operations
-
81
4,395
4,314
     total Fortum
369
431
4,245
4,183
Comparable operating profit, EUR million
 
 
 
 
continuing operations
275
343
808
740
discontinued operations
-
82
114
32
total Fortum
275
425
922
772
Profit before taxes, EUR million
 
 
 
 
continuing operations
390
350
-305
-265
discontinued operations
-
80
4,393
4,313
total Fortum
390
431
4,088
4,047
Earnings per share, EUR
 
 
 
 
      continuing operations
0.37
0.33
-0.26
-0.22
      discontinued operations
 
0.07
4.92
 
      total Fortum
0.37
0.40
4.66
4.63
Net cash from operating activities, EUR million, continuing operations
375
516
1,228
1,087
Shareholders’ equity per share, EUR
15.97
11.73
15.53
 
Interest-bearing net debt (at end of period), EUR million
-2,158
3,714
-2,195
 


 
Fortum’s President and CEO Pekka Lundmark:
 
 The key factor currently influencing Fortum’s business performance is the low wholesale price of electricity. The situation is the same for our peer companies, of which the majority are located outside of the Nordic countries.
 
Considering the low electricity prices, the first quarter results were quite satisfactory. Fortum's comparable operating profit for continuing operations totaled EUR 275 million, a decline of approximately EUR 70 million compared to the first quarter in 2015. Profit before taxes was up by EUR 40 million and totaled EUR 390 million. Earnings per share were EUR 0.37 compared to EUR 0.33 in the first quarter of 2015.
 
The highlights of the quarter operationally were the highest ever first quarter hydro production, high utilisation rates in all nuclear power plants, and the finalisation of the multi-year investment programme in Russia, where Fortum now has 2,226 megawatts (MW) of new capacity receiving guaranteed payments. It was also encouraging that the share of profits contributed by Fortum Värme (co-owned with Stockholm city, Sweden) increased.
 
In February, we launched our new vision and strategic cornerstones. We also adjusted our operational model to better enable the implementation; the new structure has been in place since 1 April and consists of three business divisions: Generation, City Solutions and Russia. In addition, two development units focusing on growing new businesses have been established: M&A and Solar & Wind Development as well as Technology and New Ventures.
 
At the same time, we have been screening opportunities in line with our strategy. The latest transactions are the acquisition of the Polish electricity and gas sales company DUON, as well as a wind power investment in Sweden. In addition, we announced our targets and next steps in solar in April. We are continuously looking to optimise our production fleet and hence we sold the Tobolsk power plant in Russia.
 
Our target is to continuously strengthen our position in the current home markets and wider Europe through consolidation. Although some European economies have started to recover, industrial production is still weak, commodity prices low and power demand has not recovered sufficiently to support an increase in electricity prices. This is why we aim to utilise our know-how and capital to create new revenue streams based on other value drivers than the Nordic wholesale power price. However, due to the long-term nature of energy investments, the change will take some time.”
 
 
Fortum’s new vision, strategic cornerstones and updated financial targets
 
In February, Fortum launched its new vision, strategic cornerstones and updated financial targets. The new vision and strategy targets growth and continued profitability with a strong focus on clean energy, customers and shareholder value creation.
 
The long-term financial target for return on capital employed (ROCE) is revised to at least 10%, while the target for comparable net debt to EBITDA, around 2.5 times, remains unchanged. Also the dividend policy remains unchanged.
 
Fortum's strategy has four cornerstones: (1) enhance productivity of the current fleet and drive industry transformation, (2) create sustainable solutions for growing cities and urban areas, (3) increase investments in solar and wind power, and (4) build new energy ventures.
 
 
Disclosures for Fortum's capital structure and segment information
 
Fortum wants to have a prudent and efficient capital structure which at the same time allows the implementation of its strategy. Maintaining a strong balance sheet and the flexibility of the capital structure is a priority. The Group monitors the capital structure based on the Comparable net debt to EBITDA ratio. Net debt is calculated as interest-bearing liabilities minus liquid funds. EBITDA is calculated by adding back depreciation and amortisation to operating profit, whereas Comparable EBITDA is calculated by deducting items affecting comparability and the net release of CSA provision from EBITDA. Fortum's comparable net debt to EBITDA target is around 2.5.
 
ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) has issued new guidelines regarding Alternative Performance Measures (“APM”) to be implemented at the latest in the second quarter 2016. Fortum has defined and presented its APMs in a consistent and comprehensive manner since 2005 and therefore the implementation of the guidelines will only have limited effect on the disclosures. When assessing the ESMA guidelines Fortum has now added a reconciliation for one of its APMs, Comparable return on net assets (Note 4).
 
Presentation of segment note (Note 4) has been reorganised to a more condensed presentation in order to give more coherent picture of the performance of the reporting segments. Presentation is now in line with the format used in the consolidated financial statements. In addition, Fortum is disclosing Comparable net assets instead of Net assets from first quarter 2016 onwards.
 
 
Reorganisation of operations
 
Fortum has reorganised its corporate structure as of 1 April 2016. The target of the new organisation is to enable the implementation of the company’s new vision and strategy. The new organisation consists of three business divisions: Generation, City Solutions and Russia. In addition, two development units focusing on growing new businesses were established: M&A and Solar & Wind Development as well as Technology and New Ventures.
 
Changes to Fortum's segment reporting are minor at this point and the company will keep four reporting segments. The segments as of the second quarter 2016 are: Generation (mainly the former Power and Technology), City Solutions (mainly the former Heat, Electricity Sales and Solutions) and Russia. M&A and Solar & Wind Development as well as Technology and New Ventures will be reported under Other. Some businesses will be repositioned due to the reorganisation, but because of the minor financial impact at this point, the comparable segment information for 2015 will not be restated.
 
After the divestment of the Swedish distribution business, Fortum has no electricity distribution operations. The Distribution segment was reclassified as discontinued operations as of the first quarter of 2015.  
 
Financial results discussed in this interim report are for the continuing operations of Fortum Group.
 
 
Financial results
 
Sales by segment
EUR million
I/16
I/15
2015
LTM
Power and Technology
474
500
1,722
1,696
Heat, Electricity Sales and Solutions
392
406
1,187
1,173
Russia
249
263
893
879
Other
29
29
114
114
Netting of Nord Pool transactions
-120
-119
-336
-337
Eliminations
-34
-38
-122
-118
Total continuing operations
989
1,040
3,459
3,408
Discontinued operations                            
-
180
274
94
Eliminations
-
-20
-31
-11
Total Fortum
989
1,200
3,702
3,491
 
Comparable operating profit by segment
EUR million
I/16
I/15
2015
LTM
Power and Technology
153
203
561
511
Heat, Electricity Sales and Solutions
56
58
108
106
Russia
79
97
201
183
Other
-13
-15
-63
-61
Total continuing operations
275
343
808
740
Discontinued operations
-
82
114
32
Total Fortum
275
425
922
772
 
Operating profit by segment
EUR million
I/16
I/15
2015
LTM
Power and Technology
209
203
-396
-390
Heat, Electricity Sales and Solutions
61
64
105
102
Russia
111
98
203
216
Other
-12
-15
-62
-59
Total continuing operations
369
350
-150
-131
Discontinued operations
-
81
4,395
4,314
Total Fortum
369
431
4,245
4,183
 
January–March 2016
 
In the first quarter of 2016, sales were EUR 989 (1,040) million, the decrease was mainly due to weak power prices. Comparable operating profit totalled EUR 275 (343) million and the reported operating profit totalled EUR 369 (350) million. Fortum's operating profit for the period was affected by items affecting comparability, including sales gains and IFRS accounting treatment (IAS 39) of derivatives mainly used for hedging Fortum's power production and nuclear fund adjustments for continuing operations amounting to EUR 94 (7) million (Note 4).
 
The share of profit from associates was EUR 67 (58) million, of which Fortum Värme represented EUR 44 (38) million. The share of profit from Hafslund and TGC-1 are based on the companies' published fourth-quarter 2015 interim reports (Note 14).
 
Net financial expenses were EUR -47 (-57) million. Net financial expenses include changes in the fair value of financial instruments of EUR 2 (-8) million.
 
Profit before taxes was EUR 390 (350) million.
 
Taxes for the period totalled EUR -59 (-55) million. The effective income tax rate according to the income statement was 15.0% (15.8%). The comparable effective income tax rate, excluding the impact of the share of profit from associated companies, joint ventures as well as non-taxable capital gains, was 18.1% (19.0%) (Note 10).
 
The profit for the period for continuing operations was EUR 331 (295) million. Earnings per share for continuing operations were EUR 0.37 (0.33), of which EUR 0.08 (0.01) per share relates to items affecting comparability. (Earnings per share for total Fortum in the first quarter of 2015 including the effect from discontinued operations were EUR 0.40).
 
Financial position and cash flow
 
Cash flow
 
In the first quarter of 2016, net cash from operating activities from continuing operations decreased by EUR 141 million to EUR 375 (516) million, mainly due to lower comparable EBITDA, higher taxes paid, and lower realised foreign exchange gains and losses. Realised foreign exchange gains and losses of EUR 132 (168) million were related to the rollover of foreign exchange contract hedging loans to Fortum's Swedish and Russian subsidiaries. Total net cash from operating activities including divested Distribution operations, amounted to EUR 375 (603) million.
 
Capital expenditures increased by EUR 12 million to EUR 113 (101) million. Net cash used in investing activities increased by EUR 333 million to EUR 379 (46) million, mainly due to the acquisition of shares of EUR 104 (1) million and an increase in interest-bearing receivables of EUR 176 (0) million. Cash flow before financing activities, including the effect of divested Distribution operations, decreased by EUR 518 million to EUR -4 (514) million.
 
Fortum paid dividends totalling EUR 977 million in April 2016.
 
Assets and capital employed
 
Total assets increased by EUR 328 million to EUR 23,095 (22,767 at year-end 2015) million.
 
Liquid funds were at the year-end level of EUR 8,228 (8,202 at year-end 2015) million.
 
Capital employed was EUR 20,338 (19,870 at year-end 2015) million, an increase of EUR 468 million.
 
Equity
 
Total equity attributable to owners of the parent company totalled EUR 14,191 (13,794 at year-end 2015) million.
 
The increase in equity attributable to owners of the parent company totalled EUR 397 million and was mainly from the net profit of EUR 326 million for the period and translation differences of EUR 100 million.
 
Financing
 
Fortum was net cash positive at the end of the period. Net cash decreased by EUR 37 million to EUR 2,158 (2,195 at year-end 2015) million during the first quarter of 2016.
 
At the end of March, the Group’s liquid funds totalled EUR 8,228 (8,202 at year-end 2015) million. Liquid funds include cash and bank deposits held by OAO Fortum amounting to EUR 129 (76 at year-end 2015) million. In addition to liquid funds, Fortum had access to approximately EUR 2.2 billion of undrawn committed credit facilities (Note 16).
 
Net financial expenses were EUR -47 (-57) million, of which net interest expenses were
EUR -39 (-39) million. Net financial expenses include changes in the fair value of financial instruments of EUR 2 (-8) million.
 
Fortum’s long-term ratings were unchanged. Standard & Poor's rating is BBB+ and the short-term rating A-2. The outlook is stable. Fitch Ratings long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating is BBB+ while the short-term IDR is F2 with a stable outlook.
 
Key figures
 
For the last twelve months comparable net debt to EBITDA was -1.9 (-1.7 at year-end 2015).
 
Gearing was -15% (-16% at year-end 2015) and the equity-to-assets ratio 62% (61% at year-end 2015). Equity per share was EUR 15.97 (15.53 at year-end 2015). For the last twelve months return on capital employed totalled 22.5% (22.7% at year-end 2015).

Outlook
 
Key drivers and risks
 
Fortum's financial results are exposed to a number of economic, strategic, political, financial and operational risks. One of the key factors influencing Fortum's business performance is the wholesale price of electricity in the Nordic region. The key drivers behind the wholesale price development in the Nordic region are the supply-demand balance, the prices of fuel and CO2 emissions allowances, as well as the hydrological situation. The completion of Fortum’s investment programme in Russia is also a key driver in the company’s result growth, due to the increase in production volumes and CSA payments.
 
The continued uncertainty in the global and European economies has kept the outlook for economic growth unpredictable. The overall economic uncertainty impacts commodity and CO2 emissions allowance prices, and this could maintain downward pressure on the Nordic wholesale price of electricity. In Fortum's Russian business, the key factors are economic growth, the rouble exchange rate, the regulation around the heat business, and further development of electricity and capacity markets. In all regions, fuel prices and power plant availability also impact profitability. In addition, increased volatility in exchange rates due to financial turbulence could have both translation and transaction effects on Fortum's financials, especially through the Russian rouble and Swedish krona. In the Nordic countries, also the regulatory and fiscal environment for the energy sector has added risks for utility companies.
 
Nordic market
 
Despite macroeconomic uncertainty, electricity is expected to continue to gain a higher share of the total energy consumption. Electricity demand in the Nordic countries is expected to grow by approximately 0.5% on average in the coming years.  
 
During the first quarter of 2016, the price of European Union emissions allowances, oil and coal declined. The price of electricity for the upcoming twelve months declined in the Nordic area as well as in Germany.
 
In late-April 2016 the quotation for coal (ICE Rotterdam) for the rest of 2016 was around USD 46 per tonne, and for CO2 emission allowances for 2016 about EUR 6 per tonne. The Nordic system electricity forward price in Nasdaq Commodities for the rest of 2016 was around EUR 21 per MWh and for 2017 around EUR 21 per MWh. In Germany, the electricity forward price for the rest of 2016 was around EUR 25 per MWh and for 2017 around EUR 25 per MWh. Nordic water reservoirs were about 7 TWh above the long-term average and 6 TWh above the corresponding level of 2015.
 
Power and Technology
 
The Power and Technology segment’s achieved Nordic power price typically depends on such factors as hedge ratios, hedge prices, spot prices, availability and utilisation of Fortum's flexible production portfolio, and currency fluctuations. Excluding the potential effects from changes in the power generation mix, a 1 EUR/MWh change in the Power and Technology segment’s Nordic power sales achieved price will result in an approximately EUR 45 million change in Fortum's annual comparable operating profit. In addition, the comparable operating profit of the Power and Technology segment will be affected by the possible thermal power generation volumes and its profits.
 
In Finland, the technical plan and cost estimates for nuclear waste management are updated every third year. The new technical plan was published in 2015 and related cost estimates will be updated during the second quarter of 2016, and the updated nuclear waste liability will be decided by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy by end of year 2016.
 
As a result of the nuclear stress tests in the EU, the Swedish nuclear safety authority (SSM) has decided to propose new regulations for Swedish nuclear reactors. The process is ongoing. Fortum emphasises that maintaining a high level of nuclear safety is the highest priority, but considers EU-level harmonisation of nuclear safety requirements to be of utmost importance.
 
In 2015, the Swedish Government increased the nuclear waste fund fee from approximately 0.022 to approximately 0.04 SEK/kWh for the 2015-2017 period. The estimated impact on Fortum is approximately EUR 25 million annually. The process to review the Swedish nuclear waste fees is done in a three-year cycle. However, as a result of the decision on early closure of nuclear power plants, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, recalculated the waste fees for the Oskarshamn and Ringhals power plants. The new assessment needs the approval of the Swedish Government.
 
In addition, the Swedish Parliament decided to approve the proposed tax increase of 17% on installed nuclear capacity. The tax was implemented as of 1 August 2015. The estimated impact on Fortum is approximately EUR 15 million in 2016, albeit corporate tax-deductible. The future of the nuclear tax is subject to active political debate in Sweden.
 
OKG AB decided earlier to permanently discontinue electricity production at Oskarshamn unit 1 and start decommissioning after permission for service operation has been granted by the relevant Swedish authorities. The precise date for discontinuing production and starting decommissioning has now been decided to 30 June 2017. Oskarshamn unit 2, which has been out of operation since June 2013 due to an extensive safety modernisation, will stay out from operation. The closing processes are estimated to take several years.
 
Russia
 
The Russia segment's new capacity generation built after 2007 under the Russian Government's capacity supply agreement (CSA) is a key driver for earnings growth in Russia, as it is expected to bring income from new volumes sold and also to receive considerably higher capacity payments than the old capacity. It receives guaranteed capacity payments currently for a period of 10 years. A draft regulation related to the time frame (10 vs.15 years) regarding the calculation of capacity payments has been submitted for review to the federal executive authorities, and a decision is expected during the first half of 2016. The received CSA payment will vary depending on the age, location, size and type of the plants as well as on seasonality and availability. CSA payments can vary somewhat annually because they are linked to Russian Government long-term bonds with 8 to 10 years maturity. In addition, the regulator will review the earnings from the electricity-only market three years and six years after the commissioning of a unit and could revise the CSA payments accordingly.
 
According to the new rules approved by the Russian Government in 2015, the competitive capacity selection for generation built prior to 2008 (CCS, without capacity supply agreements) takes place annually. At the end of 2015, the CCS for 2016 and the long-term CCS for 2017-2019 were held. The majority of Fortum’s plants were selected. The volume of Fortum’s installed "old" capacity not selected in the auction totalled 195 MW (out of 2,257 MW) for which Fortum has obtained forced mode status, i.e. it will receive payments for the capacity. In 2016, the CCS for year 2020 will take place.
 
In 2014, the new heat market model roadmap proposed by the Ministry of Energy was approved by the Russian Government; if implemented, the reform should give heat market liberalisation by 2020 or, in some specific areas, by 2023.
 
The targeted operating profit (EBIT) level of RUB 18.2 billion in the Russia segment is expected to be reached during 2017-2018. The segment’s profits are impacted by changes in power demand, gas prices and other regulatory development. Economic sanctions, the currency crisis, oil prices and the surge in inflation have impacted overall demand. As a result, gas prices and electricity prices have not developed favourably as expected. As forecasted by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the Russian annual average gas price growth is estimated to be 4.9% in 2016.  
 
The euro-denominated result level will be volatile due to the translation effect. The income statements of non-euro subsidiaries are translated into the Group reporting currency using the average exchange rates. The Russia segment's result is also impacted by seasonal volatility caused by the nature of the heat business, with the first and last quarter being clearly the strongest.
 
Restructuring of TGC-1 according to strategy in Russia
 
In December 2014, Fortum, Gazprom Energoholding LLC and Rosatom State Corporation signed a protocol to start a restructuring process of the ownership of TGC-1 in Russia. The discussions have not yet come to a conclusion. It is not possible to estimate the timetable.
 
Capital expenditure and divestments
 
Fortum currently expects its capital expenditure, excluding acquisitions, for its continuing operations in 2016 to be approximately EUR 650 million. The annual maintenance capital expenditure is estimated to be about EUR 300-350 million in 2016, below the level of depreciation.
 
Taxation
 
The effective corporate income tax rate for Fortum in 2016 is estimated to be 19–21%, excluding the impact of the share of profits of associated companies and joint ventures, non-taxable capital gains and non-recurring items.
 
Hedging
 
At the end of March 2016 approximately 60% of Power and Technology's estimated Nordic power sales volume was hedged at approximately EUR 30 per MWh for the rest of the year 2016. The corresponding figures for the 2017 calendar year were approximately 30% at approximately EUR 28 per MWh.
 
The reported hedge ratios may vary significantly, depending on Fortum's actions on the electricity derivatives markets. Hedges are mainly financial contracts, most of them Nasdaq Commodities forwards.
 
Dividend payment
 
The Annual General Meeting decided to pay a dividend of EUR 1.10 per share for the financial year that ended 31 December 2015. 
The record date for the dividend was 7 April 2016, and the dividend payment date was 14 April 2016.
 
Espoo, 27 April 2016
Fortum Corporation
Board of Directors
 
Further information:
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, tel. +358 10 452 4112
Timo Karttinen, CFO, tel. +358 10 453 6555
 
Investor relations& financial communications, Sophie Jolly, tel. +358 10 453 2552, Rauno Tiihonen, tel. +358 10 453 6150, Marja Mäkinen, tel. +358 10 452 3338 and investors@fortum.com
 
Media, Corporate Press Officer, Pauliina Vuosio, tel. + 358 50 453 2383 
 
The condensed interim report has been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard (IAS) 34, Interim Financial Reporting, as adopted by the EU. The interim financials have not been audited.
 
 
Reporting and Capital Markets Day in 2016:

Publication of financial results in 2016:
- January-June on 20 July 2016 at approximately 9:00 a.m. EEST
- January-September on 25 October 2016 at approximately 9:00 a.m. EEST
 
Fortum's Capital Markets Day is planned to take place on 16 November 2016 in Helsinki.
 
Distribution:
Nasdaq Helsinki
Key media
www.fortum.com
 
More information, including detailed quarterly information, is available on Fortum’s website at www.fortum.com/investors.