Audax Renovables, an energy group whose activity involves the production and sale of 100% renewable electricity, presents its results for the first quarter of 2020 in the context of exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, the company anticipated the development of a contingency plan with the objective of mitigating the possible impact caused and maintaining its solid financial position, as well as its liquidity and credit profile.
Audax ended the first quarter of 2020 with sales amounting to 234 million euros, lower than the previous year. This is mainly due to the following factors: lower energy prices in Spain, 37% lower than in the same period last year in the case of electricity and 53% less in the case of the gas market; a drop in demand at European level due to the warmer climate; and the effect of leaving the perimeter of the three power plants sold in 2019.
However, due to an improvement in the management of its supplies, the company increased its gross margin by 3.2% compared to the same period last year, standing at 13% of its turnover, compared to 10 % in the same period.
To deal with the possible effects of COVID-19, Audax Renovables recorded an extraordinary provision for insolvencies of 3.3 million euros, as part of the contingency plan prepared based on conservative criteria, which should allow Audax Renovables to remain protected throughout this exercise.
EBITDA in this period was 12 million euros, ending with a net profit of 1.4 million euros. In comparative terms, without taking into account the COVID-19 effect and the divestments of power plants in the previous year, EBITDA would be 20.6 million euros, 43% higher than in the first quarter of the previous year and net profit would be 6.8 million euros.
At the end of the first quarter of 2020, Audax Renovables had more than 365 thousand active supply points, 19% more than in the same period in 2019. The increase in the number of customers allowed Audax Renovables to partially cushion the decrease mentioned above in energy prices in the domestic market and the drop in demand caused by COVID-19.
On the other hand, Audax Renovables continues to invest in the construction of its power plants. Even with the current situation caused by COVID-19, the works were not significantly affected and the beginning of the projects will not have significant delays in relation to the dates initially planned. In fact, last January, construction began on the Cañamares photovoltaic plant in the municipality of Fontanar (Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha), with a capacity of 5 MWp. Construction of the Carolinas I and II photovoltaic plants will also start shortly, with a total capacity of 10 MWp, both located in the municipality of El Casar (Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha).
In addition, in April, the Spanish rating agency Axesor classified the company’s rating as Investment Grade (BBB-) with a stable outlook, demonstrating the company’s solid financial position, even in the current times of uncertainty. It is also important to note that the Group reduced its debt by 13 million euros in the first quarter of the year.
The price of Audax Renovables’ shares was inevitably affected by the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, after reaching a maximum of € 2.72 per share during that period. However, the main financial and business indicators put Audax Renovables in a very favorable position to face the current situation with maximum solvency guarantees. It should also be noted that the company’s geographical diversification limits the risk of business concentration, being present in the commercialization and/or generation businesses in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Panama. In addition, last March Audax Renovables joined the IBEX SMALL CAP® index, making it a reference value for investors.