(Wiesbaden, 22 May 2015) The ABO Wind Group has achieved a satisfying net profit of around EUR 5.3 million in fiscal 2014, thus increasing the solid result of the previous year (EUR 4 million) by 30 percent. The total output (turnover and changes in inventories) increased by 14 percent to EUR 107.6 million, exceeding the threshold of EUR 100 million for the first time.
ABO Wind is currently developing wind farms in six European countries and in Latin America. Nearly 64 percent of the revenue were generated in the German home market in 2014. "2014 was a turbulent year for our most important market," summarizes board member Matthias Bockholt. The amendment of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) which was moved forward to 1 August 2014 resulted in a lowered profitability of some wind farms which were commissioned in the fourth calendar quarter. “The result would have been even better otherwise”, says Bockholt. At the same time, he appreciates that the law establishes a stable framework for the further expansion of wind power in Germany. Starting in 2017, subsidies for electricity from wind energy will be determined by tender. “We are confident that the federal government will design the rules of the new compensation system in a way that will not jeopardize the success of the energy transition," says Bockholt.
A few months ago, ABO Wind reached the milestone of 1,000 megawatts of total installed capacity and is therefore among the few selected project developers in Germany that have passed this mark.
“Our strong position in the market, our highly qualified and experienced staff as well as our efficient corporate structures will help ABO Wind to work successfully in the tendering procedures,” says Bockholt.
The number of permanent employees of ABO Wind Group has further increased to currently 305 (previous year: 285). 219 employees work in Germany, 86 in other countries. Largest office locations are the company’s headquarters in Wiesbaden, and Heidesheim.
Bockholt also sees good prospects in France, ABO Wind’s second most important market. 29 percent of the turnover were generated in Germany’s western neighbouring country that wants to reduce its dependency on nuclear energy and is therefore pushing the expansion of wind energy.
In addition to acquiring new sites, in the past year ABO Wind has also taken over some wind farm projects under development from a competitor who discontinued their activities in France. “The odds are good that France will continue to contribute largely to our company’s success in the long term,” says Bockholt.
While ABO Wind stopped activities in Bulgaria and Belgium in the past few years, the market entry in Finland is already turning out well. In early 2014, ABO Wind opened an office in Helsinki with a staff of currently six employees. The first wind farm (Haapajärvi in the region Northern Ostrobothnia) received a building permit last summer. ABO Wind has started construction of transport paths, cable routes, and foundations before the start of the long Finnish winter, so that the commissioning of two turbines of 3.3 megawatts each is to be expected in August 2015. In the meantime, the Finnish subsidiary ABO Wind Oy has already obtained the next building permit for a 27.6 megawatt project.
Out of commercial caution ABO Wind has applied substantial write-downs. Among other things, wind energy projects in Spain were written-off because their implementation seems unlikely under current conditions. The amendment of the German Renewable Energies Act came into effect earlier than expected, which resulted in some depreciation in Germany. Additionally, the economic conditions for some wind farms under development particularly in Scotland had changed for the worse. “The write-downs reduce balance-sheet risks and help to achieve good economic results in the long term,” explains Bockholt. The complete annual management report can be downloaded in English and in German.
The annual shareholder’s meeting of ABO Wind AG takes place on 2 July at 4.30 pm at the Museum of Wiesbaden. The Management Board and the Supervisory Board suggest a divident payout of EUR 0.22 per share, ten percent more than in the previous year. Based on the current stock exchange price of about 7 euros this corresponds to a dividend yield of 3.1 percent.
The new smaller business areas of Energy Contracting and the department of Future Energy with a focus on energy storage projects are economically less important for the company, but they complement the company’s portfolio. "We would like to fully contribute to the success of the energy revolution," says Bockholt. This includes the continued use of biogas. Since the introduction of the amendment of the EEG there is no longer an economic base for the development of new biogas projects. Therefore, ABO Wind is now focusing on optimizing existing facilities. "Given the technical complexity, there are many ways to benefit from the expertise of our colleagues."
In the last quarter of 2014, ABO Wind has as well expanded its services to include maintenance and incident management for wind turbines. In 2012 the company started offering services in addition to operational management, such as security audits, inspections of drive trains and gearbox services. Many customers who have not signed a full operational management contract with ABO Wind make use of these services. Technical services generated around EUR 4.6 million euros of turnover, thus increasing their share of the total Group turnover by ten percent. As an experienced wind energy specialist independent of manufacturers, ABO Wind is in a good position to gain additional market share in the field of technical services.
ABO Wind anticipates further growth of the wind energy sector for the coming years. In 2014, ABO Wind has acquired sites for new wind farms with a capacity of 830 megawatts and thus laid the foundation for many more successful years to come. “We want to continue to play our part in the transition towards a more sustainable energy supply by focusing on our core business, wind energy,” says Bockholt.
(Wiesbaden, March 3rd, 2015) With the commissioning of a wind farm in Weilrod in the Hessian Hochtaunus region in Germany, project developer ABO Wind has reached the milestone of 1,000 megawatts of total installed capacity. "In 1996, we built our first wind farm consisting of three Micon M 1800 turbines with 0.6 megawatts each in the Hessian county of Kassel," CEO and co-founder Matthias Bockholt recalls. 19 years later, the company has reached the symbolic mark of 1,000 megawatts by commissioning seven Nordex N117 turbines with 2.4 megawatts each.
The comparison between the first and the latest wind farm in the company's history shows the remarkable technological development of wind turbines. The generators’ performance has quadrupled. Higher towers and longer blades also contribute to a much higher electricity yield. ABO Wind’s first wind farm Niederlistingen/Ersen produces about 2.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The 112th wind farm in Weilrod produces 49 million kilowatt hours.
Wind farms planned by ABO Wind produce climate-friendly electricity in France, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria, and Germany. "Our 1,000 megawatt wind farm Weilrod exemplifies our strengths," says CEO Bockholt: local added value and acceptance, as well as financial participation of citizens characterise the project. Most of the land lease income will go to the municipality of Weilrod and thus benefits its citizens. The turbines are so far removed from residential estates that noise and shadow flicker will not put a strain on the citizens. Majority owner of the wind farm is ABO Invest AG, which belongs to 4,000 citizens, foundations and cooperatives, and in which anyone can participate. In addition, ABO Invest has launched a subordinated loan for Weilrod, which makes a fixed-rate investment possible. In the fall, ABO Wind is planning a public celebration to inaugurate the wind farm in Weilrod.
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