Stock exchange release

Fortum Financial Statements Bulletin 2019: Strong operational performance in 2019 – financial targets achieved

06 February 2020, 09:00 EET

FORTUM CORPORATION FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN 2019 6 FEBRUARY 2020 AT 9:00 EET

This release is a summary of Fortum’s Financial Statements Bulletin 2019. The complete report is attached to this release as a pdf-file. It is also available on the company's website at www.fortum.com/investors

October-December 2019

  • Comparable EBITDA was EUR 552 (473) million, +17%
  • Comparable operating profit was EUR 398 (333) million, +20%
  • Operating profit was EUR 444 (309) million, +44%
  • Share of profits of associated companies and joint ventures was EUR 65 (-44) million, mainly related to Fortum’s share of Uniper’s profit
  • Earnings per share were EUR 0.40 (0.22), of which EUR 0.04 (-0.02) related to items affecting comparability and EUR 0.11 (0) to Uniper
  • Cash flow from operating activities totalled EUR 261 (38) million
  • Fortum agreed to sell its district heating and cooling business in Joensuu for EUR 530 million and an 80% stake in its Nordic wind portfolio for EUR 250 million
  • On 8 October, Fortum agreed to acquire an additional stake of at least 20.5% in Uniper for approximately EUR 2.3 billion, increasing Fortum’s share in Uniper to more than 70.5% (subject to regulatory clearances) and the total investment in Uniper to approximately EUR 6.2 billion

January-December 2019

  • Comparable EBITDA was EUR 1,766 (1,523) million, +16%
  • Comparable operating profit was EUR 1,191 (987) million, +21%
  • Operating profit was EUR 1,110 (1,138) million, -2%
  • Share of profits of associated companies and joint ventures was EUR 744 (38) million, mainly related to Fortum’s share of Uniper’s profit
  • Earnings per share were EUR 1.67 (0.95), of which EUR -0.07 (0.15) related to items affecting comparability and EUR 0.71 (0) to Uniper. In 2018, the capital gain from the sale of the 10% stake in Hafslund Produksjon was EUR 0.09 per share
  • Very strong cash flow from operating activities of EUR 2,015 (804) million, mainly due to the change in settlements for futures, improved results, and dividends received
  • Return on capital employed target of at least 10% achieved at the end of 2019
  • Comparable net debt-to-EBITDA at year-end was 3.0x. When adjusting net debt with the impact of the Joensuu district heating and Nordic wind divestments, Fortum’s long-term target of around 2.5x was achieved
  • Fortum's Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 1.10 (1.10) per share

Events after the balance sheet date

  • Fortum to assess strategic options, including possible divestment, of its district heating and cooling businesses in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Järvenpää in Finland

Summary of outlook

  • The Generation segment's Nordic generation hedges: approximately 75% at EUR 34 per MWh for 2020 and approximately 40% at EUR 33 per MWh for 2021
  • Capital expenditure, including maintenance but excluding acquisitions, is expected to be approximately EUR 700 million (previously expected to be less than EUR 600-650 million) in 2020. This includes approximately EUR 200 million of solar and wind investments, which are subject to the capital recycling business model

Key financial ratios

EUR million 2019 2018
Return on capital employed, % 10.0 6.7
Comparable net debt/EBITDA 3.0 3.6

Key figures

EUR million IV/19 IV/18 2019 2018
Sales 1,553 1,599 5,447 5,242
Comparable EBITDA 552 473 1,766 1,523
Comparable operating profit 398 333 1,191 987
Operating profit 444 309 1,110 1,138
Share of profits of associates and
joint ventures
65 -44 744 38
Profit before income taxes 454 261 1,728 1,040
Earnings per share, EUR 0.40 0.22 1.67 0.95
Net cash from operating activities 261 38 2,015 804
Shareholders’ equity per share, EUR     14.61 13.33
Interest-bearing net debt (at the end of the period)     5,260 5,509

Fortum's President and CEO Pekka Lundmark:

"During 2019, we continued our determined efforts to implement Fortum’s strategy. We focused on operational excellence in all our operations, re-assessed parts of our district heating business, continued to build solar and wind power, reached an agreement to increase our shareholding in Uniper, and improved our financial results substantially. At year-end, we reached our long-term 10% target for return on capital employed.

In June, we announced our intention to assess the strategic options for the district heating and cooling business in Estonia and in Joensuu, Finland. The assessment concluded in the divestment of the Joensuu operations on 10 January 2020, for approximately EUR 530 million, releasing cash, strengthening our balance sheet, and unlocking value. Today we announced our intention to extend the assessment to include our district heating and cooling businesses in all Baltic countries, in Poland, and in Järvenpää, Finland.

In October, our Uniper investment took a leap forward with our agreement to buy an additional stake, in excess of 20%, in the company. In November, we received approval to close the transaction from the Russian Government Commission, subject to certain conditions. The clarification of these conditions is somewhat delayed, due to the recent change of the Russian Government. In December, we received approval from the Unites States. We are still confident to achieve closing during the first quarter of 2020. As announced previously, with closing we will seek adequate board representation in the Supervisory Board of Uniper reflecting our ownership. This naturally includes the chairmanship.

As the majority owner, Fortum will focus on cooperation and strategic alignment with Uniper. Our two companies are already well-positioned to drive forward the European energy transition. Together, both companies can benefit from a further aligned strategic focus to enable a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. During the transition, Europeans expect their energy companies to execute ambitious climate policies while continuing to provide electricity and heat at all times and at an affordable cost. The German Government’s coal exit law, presented last week, reflects these requirements – coal-fired generation will be phased out by the end of 2038 at the latest. Fortum stands for a strategy of decarbonisation, which of course also applies to our investments, and supports Uniper’s decision to close down the company’s old coal-fired units as the company’s new coal-fired CHP plant Datteln 4 is taken into use. As long as coal has to be used to provide for security of supply in Germany, it makes sense to use it in the most efficient and clean units.

We have continued our decarbonisation efforts during the year and will do so in the future. We have therefore decided to tighten our climate target for specific CO2 emissions by 10% to 180 gCO2/kWh, applicable to Fortum’s stand-alone fleet for the year 2020. We are building more solar and wind power while also utilising our ‘capital recycling’ business model to release cash. This enables us to invest more with a limited equity exposure. Another major effort is our commitment to carbon-neutral district heating in Espoo, Finland, in the 2020s, accelerated by our goal to discontinue the use of coal in Espoo in 2025. Other examples of work for a cleaner energy system in Finland include the sustainable decommissioning of the one-gigawatt Inkoo coal-fired power plant showing a recycling rate of 92% of the material, placing the Meri-Pori coal-fired power plant into the Finnish national peak-load reserve capacity system from July 2020, as well as the recent decisions of Fortum’s associated company Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto to close down the coal-fired unit Naantali 2. In Sweden, Fortum’s joint venture Stockholm Exergi has decided to decommission its last coal-fired unit after this heating season.

The comparable operating profit for 2019 increased by more than EUR 200 million to EUR 1.2 billion, mainly driven by a clear result improvement in the Generation segment and also supported by improved results in the Consumer Solutions and Russia segments. In addition, our share of profits from associated companies and joint ventures increased to almost EUR 750 million, largely thanks to our share of Uniper’s profits. Our focus on cash flow measures, together with the strong results in 2019, increased our cash flow to more than EUR 2 billion at year-end. Our comparable net debt-to-EBITDA at year-end was 3.0x. When adjusting the net debt with the impact of the divestment of the Joensuu district heating business in January 2020 and the announced sale of a 80% share of our Nordic wind portfolio, I am happy to say that we also achieved our other long-term financial target of a comparable net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of around 2.5x. Maintaining strong cash flow and consistent deleveraging are also central for our credit rating. Fortum’s key objective is to have a solid investment-grade rating of at least BBB to preserve financial flexibility and good access to capital markets after the Uniper transaction has been closed.

The fourth-quarter results were characterised by the strong improvement in the Generation segment, driven by clearly higher hydro volumes and good operational performance. The higher hedge price helped us achieve a higher power price, in spite of the clearly lower spot prices in the Nordics. All other operational segments also improved their results. In City Solutions, the result recovered after a disappointing third quarter. The hard work in Consumer Solutions continued to pay off with EBITDA increasing for the ninth consecutive quarter. In the Russia segment, the improvement in the heat business supported the results.

Based on Fortum’s 2019 results, our financial position and the outlook for the coming years, Fortum's Board of Directors is proposing an unchanged dividend of EUR 1.10 per share for the calendar year 2019. With an earnings per share of EUR 1.67, the proposal corresponds to a pay-out ratio of 66%, which is within the 50%-80% range of our dividend policy.

Finally, I would like to thank all our employees for their commitment and hard work during the year and our customers and all other stakeholders for their good cooperation and continued trust in us."

Espoo, 5 February 2020

Fortum Corporation
Board of Directors

News conference/webcast

The joint news conference for media, institutional investors and analysts will be held on 6 February at 11.00 EET at Fortum Head office in Keilalahdentie 2-4, Espoo. 

The conference can be followed as a live webcast on Fortum's website at www.fortum.com/investors. To participate in the teleconference, please dial in approximately 5 minutes before the beginning of the event using the numbers below:

FI +358 9 8171 0310

UK +44  333 300 0804

US +1 855 857 0686

Passcode: 37928523#

The webcast will be recorded and published on Fortum's website at www.fortum.com/investors together with the transcript after the event.

Further information:

Investor Relations and Financial Communications: Ingela Ulfves, tel. +358 40 515 1531, Måns Holmberg, tel. +358 44 518 1518, Rauno Tiihonen, tel. +358 10 453 6150, Pirjo Lifländer, tel. +358 40 643 3317, and investors@fortum.com

Media: Pauliina Vuosio, tel. +358 50 453 2383

Financial calendars in 2020:

Financial Statements and Operating and Financial Review for 2019 in week 8 at the latest

Fortum will publish three interim reports in 2020:

  • January-March Interim Report on 29 April 2020 at approximately 9:00 EEST
  • January-June Half-year Financial Report on 17 July 2020 at approximately 9:00 EEST
  • January-September Interim Report on 29 October 2020 at approximately 9:00 EET

Fortum's Annual General Meeting 2020 is planned to take place on 17 March 2020. The possible dividend-related dates for 2020 are:

  • Ex-dividend date 18 March 2020
  • Record date for dividend payment 19 March 2020
  • Dividend payment date 26 March 2020

Fortum’s Capital Markets Day 2020 is planned for 3 December 2020.

Uniper publishes its financial calendar on the website www.ir.uniper.energy. Uniper will publish its interim reports in 2020 on the following dates:

  • Report on the Financial Year 2019 on 10 March 2020
  • Financial Results January-March 2020 on 7 May 2020
  • Financial Results January-June 2020 on 11 August 2020
  • Financial Results January-September 2020 on 10 November 2020

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