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7C Solarparken AG: beats guidance and achieves EBITDA of EUR 61.6 Mio in 2023

Bayreuth (pta011/27.03.2024/10:53 UTC+1)

7C Solarparken (WKN: A11QW6, ISIN: DE 000A11QW68) has exceeded both its EBITDA and CFPS guidance for the 2023 financial year.

The Group reports an EBITDA of EUR 61.6 Mio., which is significantly better than the guidance of EUR 57.0 Mio., but a marked decline compared to the exceptional 2022 year (EUR 74.7 Mio.). The Group's performance was supported by (i) the build-up of its IPP portfolio to 465 MWp at year-end, whereas the weighted capacity in 2023 rose to 421 MWp, and (ii) an electricity price swap with a leading energy player which provided a power price floor of EUR 149.5/MWh to approximately 25% of the portfolio during the reporting period. However, irradiation dropped below average and PV power prices normalized to EUR 73/MWH after the unprecedented power price peaks in the previous year 2022. Cash Flow per share is reported at EUR 0.61/share (guidance: EUR 0.60/share). Underpinned by the Company's solid balance sheet, the Group's equity ratio rose further to 44%, which is sufficient to sustain selective capacity growth and to continue to remunerate shareholders.

Shareholder remuneration 2023 and 2024

It is the Company's dividend policy to remunerate shareholders by means of an annual dividend and/or dividend equivalent. For the 2023 financial year Management proposes an increase in overall shareholder remuneration from EUR 0.12/share to EUR 0.13/share. Management considers the completed share buy-back program 2023 of EUR 5.6 Mio. (equivalent to ca. EUR 0.07 per dividend-bearing share) economically part of the overall shareholder remuneration for the financial year 2023. Therefore, Management will propose the pay out of a cash dividend of EUR 0.06 per dividend-bearing share at the next annual general meeting of shareholders. Finally, Management announces its intention to maintain this increased level of overall shareholder remuneration (EUR 0.13 per dividend bearing share) for the 2024 financial year.

Outlook 2024

The current market is not without its challenges: long lead times for grid connection for projects under construction, and low power prices, brought on by a slowdown of energy consumption - both gas and electricity are affected - and finally high interest rates.

Whilst it is true that big themes such as electrification, e-Mobility and investments in the hydrogen economy remain on the agenda, their roll out is lagging due to higher interest rates among other things. However, given the still tight supply in gas, it should be noted electricity markets remain vulnerable for upward power price shocks in case of an increase in industrial output, although 2024 looks too early for a structural recovery at this time.

The current mix of low power prices and high interest rates is slowing down the Company's overall portfolio growth. In November 2023, Management has announced it will pursue a selective growth strategy focused on own developed projects. In doing so, Management is also being financially disciplined and will focus on project yielding an equity return of 450bps above the 10-year German government bond yield. As of today, the Company plans to have a total of 42 MWp constructed during 2024.

Furthermore, the Group continues to play to its strengths looking to refit existing solar installations that enjoy high feed-in tariffs, re-powering two installations as well as exploring more lucrative and flexible routes to sell its power.

Today, the Company also announces its objectives for EBITDA and CFPS for the current financial year. We expect to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization of "at least EUR 57 Mio." and we target a cash flow per share of "at least EUR 0.57 per share" this year. This reflects in full (i) the continued downward pressure on power prices by lower industrial output as well as (ii) the fact that a weighted volume of 25 MWp of PV Plants will not contribute to revenues during the 2024 financial year due to grid connection delays.

Steven De Proost, CEO of 7C Solarparken AG: " Although, unsurprisingly, the record results of 2022 could not be matched, operating results 2023 are solid and exceeded our own expectations. The guidance for 2024 is based on the current slump in German industrial production and corresponding low electricity prices. Our internal electricity price models, however, show substantial upside potential once the German industry's output recovers. Our financial plan going forward requires full flexibility since portfolio growth will have to be self-funded, i.e. capital increases are not being considered at the current valuation. Our high equity ratio, which is unique in our sector, will therefore prove to be a real asset. The solid balance sheet even enables an increase in overall shareholder remuneration, which may consist of a cash dividend and/or share buy-backs. We are proud to announce an increase of total shareholder remuneration for the 2023 financial year to EUR 0.13 per share (up from EUR 0.12 per share last year), of which EUR 0.07 per share was already spent on the share buy-back 2023 and EUR 0.06 will be proposed as a cash dividend on the upcoming Annual General Meeting. Management has also announced its intention to keep overall shareholder remuneration for the 2024 financial year at the increased level of EUR 0.13 per share. This reflects our confidence in our Group's results, which remain supported by predictable production and feed-in tariffs.

Annual Report 2023

The Annual Report and accompanying presentation are available on the company's website in the "Investor Relations" section as from March 27th, 2024, 17:35 CET. A conference call for analysts is planned on March 28th, 2024, at. 08:30 CET.


Emitter: 7C Solarparken AG
An der Feuerwache 15
95445 Bayreuth
Contact Person: Koen Boriau
Phone: +49 921 230557-77
ISIN(s): DE000A11QW68 (Share)
Stock Exchange(s): Regulated Market in Frankfurt; Free Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate
Other Stock Exchanges: London