Erlangen, 23 February 2010 Today Solar Millennium AG (ISIN DE0007218406) presents its consolidated financial statements for the 2008/2009 fiscal year at its annual press conference regarding the financial statements in Munich and confirms the best result in Company history already announced as preliminary figures in December 2009. Following EUR 32.0 million in the 2007/2008 reporting period, the Company generated consolidated sales according to IFRS of EUR 201.3 million including the extraordinary effect of EUR 48 million announced in the previous year. This is more than six times higher than the previous year's figure (i.e. the 2007/2008 fiscal year). The extraordinary effect was caused by sales of stakes planned for the year 2007/2008 and successfully concluded in the fiscal year 2008/2009. At the same time, the operating profit (EBIT) on a Group level increased by a total of 282% to EUR 43.1 million (EUR 11.3 million in the previous year) including the extraordinary effect of EUR 12 million.
A significant share in this sales increase is attributable to the Project Financing segment. In addition to the sale of stakes in Marquesado Solar S.L., the project company of the Andasol 3 power plant that is still under construction, stakes in the project company Ibersol Electricidad Solar Ibérica S.L. were also sold successfully. Furthermore, the sale of the remaining stakes (25% each) in the Andasol 1 and 2 solar power plants to the Spanish ACS/Cobra Group scheduled for the previous fiscal year was finally completed in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. Moreover, the closed end fund issued in autumn 2009 in connection with the Andasol 3 power plant (effectively equivalent to a sale of stakes) made another important contribution to sales. The respective sales contribution was generated by the sale of a profit participation right ("Genussrecht") to the Andasol Fonds fund. Through this profit participation right, the fund will in future be able to participate from the economic benefits of Marquesado Solar S.L.
For the first time, the Power Plant Construction segment was able to post noticeable sales as well. Andasol 3 is the first project, in which the Solar Millennium Group is also partly in charge of this business field within the value chain from project development to operation. The progress at the construction site can clearly be seen already. In the meantime, more than 50% of the planned parabolic trough collectors have been installed in the solar field.
As in earlier years, the Project Development and Technology segments were also able to generate sales. In addition to the Andasol projects in Spain, the Company worked on fulfilling the existing order for the solar field of the Egyptian hybrid power plant in Kuraymat. Here, Flagsol is not only responsible for engineering services and the delivery of the control unit for the solar field, but is also in charge of procuring the key components for the solar field. The solar field is now almost completely installed with a mirror surface of approximately 130,000 m². This allowed the Company to initiate the commissioning phase, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2010.
The operating profit of EUR 31.1 million plus an extraordinary effect of EUR 12 million significantly exceeds the previous year's figure of EUR 11.3 million, even without the extraordinary effect. Net profit (consolidated net income after minority interests) rose from EUR 6.2 million in the previous year by more than 260% to EUR 24.0 million in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. Earnings per share thus came out to EUR 1.92 (previous year: EUR 0.53).
In total, the Board of Directors has targeted sales worth EUR 350 million and EBIT in the amount of EUR 45 million for the current 2009/2010 fiscal year on a Group level. Here, the planned business activities will focus on both of Solar Millennium Group's currently most important target markets, the US and Spain.
Following the successful pre-registration and involvement of the utilities Stadtwerke München (Munich City Utility), RWE Innogy and RheinEnergie in the Marquesado Solar S.L. project company, the construction of the Andasol 3 solar power plant in the south of Spain with a maximum capacity of 50 MW is on schedule. Therefore, the Board of Directors expects steady sales from the construction of Andasol 3 over the course of the entire fiscal year. The completion of Andasol 3 is scheduled in mid-2011.
With Ibersol, which is largely identical to Andasol 3 and was likewise pre-registered in November 2009, the Board of Directors plans to follow the example of Andasol 3 and include a major share in the Ibersol project company into project financing activities. Construction of Ibersol is scheduled to commence in mid-2010. In connection with the realization of Ibersol, the Board of Directors expects considerable sales and earnings contributions from the Project Development, Project Financing and Power Plant Construction segments in the 2009/2010 fiscal year. Construction of Ibersol is to be completed in 2013. The Board believes it likely that additional activities in the Power Plant Construction segment will commence in late 2010.
In the US, Solar Millennium signed a power purchase agreement for the realization of up to three solar-thermal power plants, each with a capacity of 242 MW, in California in June 2009 as well as a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of one or two solar power plants with a comparable maximum capacity in Nevada. The American Bureau of Land Management, the department responsible for administering state-owned land, placed all the locations for these potential solar power plants on its so-called fast track list, meaning that the approval procedures for these project sites will be given top priority by the relevant responsible authorities. The management in the US assumes that the construction of at least one of these solar-thermal power plants can start by the end of 2010: for the current fiscal year, the Board of Directors thus expects a significant sales contribution from the development, the basic engineering and the financing of one of these US plants.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors expects sales from preliminary project development work in connection with additional projects and the completion of the Egyptian hybrid power plant in Kuraymat.
Thomas Mayer, CFO of Solar Millennium AG, expresses his satisfaction with regard to the past fiscal year: "In a time when the entire banking system was weakened considerably, Solar Millennium managed to design and successfully implement new financing options for its major projects. As such, the involvement of major energy providers secured financing and construction of the Andasol 3 solar power plant. Solar Millennium has shown that the consistent realization of the business model is working toward its objective. The successful sale of stakes in the Andasol 1, 2 and 3 solar power plants to external investors and the sale of the Andasol Fund should entail an additional liquidity inflow of presumably more than EUR 100 million across the different reporting periods."
Regarding the successful business activities in the last few months, member of the Board Christian Beltle adds: "The early involvement in the US market has obviously been worth while: our important Californian project sites have been put on the so-called fast-track list by the US Bureau of Land Management, the department responsible for administering state-owned land. This means the responsible authorities will give these project sites priority in the approval process. In Nevada we have been able to increase the chances of succeeding by converting our planned projects to dry cooling. Our strategy of getting an early foothold in the respective markets using our pioneering spirit and innovative drive seems to be paying off. We want to transfer this strategy to future markets and thus consistently continue on our growth path."
The complete Annual Report with the consolidated financial statements 2008/2009 is available for download here.
About Solar Millennium AG:
Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with its main focus on solar-thermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries and associates, the Company specializes in parabolic trough power plants and has managed to take a globally leading position in this field. Solar Millennium strives to further extend its expertise in the area of solar-thermal power plants with the aim of achieving and securing sustainable technology leadership. As such, the Company covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar-thermal power plants: from project development and financing to the technology and the turnkey construction and operation of power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium developed Europe's first parabolic trough power plants and realized these together with partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts: here the current regional focus is on Spain, the US, India, China, the Middle East and North Africa. The Company was founded in 1998 and has been listed on the M:access open market segment of the Munich stock exchange since 2005. The Solar Millennium stock is included in the open markets of the relevant German stock exchanges as well as via the electronic trading system Xetra.
About solar-thermal power plant technology:
Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.
You can download the press release here.