Engie Group’s rapid implementation of adaptation and mitigation plans at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak led to a resilient performance for the quarter ended March 31.
The France-based group generated revenues (€16.5 billion) in Q1 2020, and EBITDA stands at €3.1 billion, down 1.8 per cent on a reported basis and up 1.4 per cent on an organic basis – largely in line with figures reported for the same time in 2019.
The group remained moneymaking even though current operating income dipped between Q1 2019 (€2 billion) and Q1 2020 (€1.9 billion).
Revenues of €16.5 billion were down 3.7 per cent on a gross and organic basis, mainly driven by temperature effects affecting supply in France and across Europe, as well as gas distribution in France. This decrease was also the result of the first Covid-19 effects, mainly in client solutions, particularly in France.
Engie’s green energy work has thus far largely escaped Covid-19’s fallout, with the utility's renewables unit recording strong performance and expected to report ‘low impacts’.
Between January and March, net financial debt grew €2 billion to reach €27.9 billion. Although most divisions posted year-on-year falls in gross current operating income, the group’s renewables division recorded a 17.2 per cent jump, in contrast with its client solutions (45.7 per cent drop in organic terms), thermal (16.1 per cent) and other divisions. Renewables’ organic income boost in Q1 was, said the group, driven by buoyant hydropower output in France and the commissioning of wind and solar across the globe.
Judith Hartmann, the group’s chief financial officer and executive vice-president, said: “Engie has proven its resilience with a good first quarter relative to a highly disrupted economic environment. We started Q1 on a positive note, despite an unseasonably warm winter. The gradual development of the Covid-19 crisis started to affect our customer solutions activities from March onwards. Our renewables, nuclear and energy management activities recorded satisfactory organic performances.
“As the situation evolves and we navigate diverse lockdowns and business recovery around the world, we will gain better visibility to assess the full financial impact of the crisis. As the world emerges from the current pandemic, I have no doubt that the energy transition will remain a dynamic and profitable growth industry, which Engie is poised to lead. Our operational and capital allocation focus will be strictly governed by growth and returns criteria by activity and geography.”
Claire Waysand, interim CEO, said the group was ensuring the safety of its employees. “We will continue to prioritise employee safety while restarting previously impacted activities as soon as possible, and at the same time, we will further sharpen our strategic focus on key activities and geographies. ”