Energy group GEN-I reports record profit for 2020

Ljubljana – The Slovenian energy group GEN-I sold a record 127.4 terawatt hours of electricity last year to generate the highest net profit to date. At EUR 15.4 million the profit was one percent above that posted in 2019 despite revenue falling by 4% to EUR 2.1 billion.

The group, active in trade, retail and purchasing of energy products, was successful across all its divisions and has been improving its financial position further with capital growth, the group said in a regulatory filing with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 40% to EUR 32.07 million. Pre-tax profit increased by 6.4% to EUR 20.2 million.

The release also said that the group was keeping its net financial indebtedness low.

Addressing reporters, the company’s chairman Robert Golob said GEN-I had managed to adapt well to the situation changed by coronavirus, having invested heavily into digitalisation in recent years.

During what was a highly volatile year in financial and energy markets, the group stepped up electricity trading to sell 70% more electricity for what is almost ten-fold Slovenia’s entire consumption, said Golob.

They purchased and sold the bulk of electricity in international markets of Central Europe.

Despite the drop in revenue, the group remains the second largest company in Slovenia in terms of revenue.

Golob said one of the key goals last year had been boosting customer relations, hence the decision to reduce power bills of more than 180,000 existing customers by 15% at the cost of EUR 2 million in the first wave of the epidemic.

GEN-I also put 845 self-supply solar plants into use last year, for a total of more than 21,000 so far. Golob expects growth in the field to continue in the future. Out of 24 planned mid-sized and large solar plants, 10 have been put up already.

The company fully removed fossil fuels from the electricity it supplies in Slovenia starting from 1 January and the customers were offered to decide themselves which non-carbon source they want to get their electricity from.

Unless a major difference in price, initial experience shows about 60% of consumers prefer solar over nuclear. “If there’s benefit with nuclear, only 10% will opt for solar,” said Golob, adding that the cost dictated the choice of source more than persuasion.