La Française de l’Énergie (Euronext: LFDE – ISIN: FR0013030152), a producer of energy with a negative carbon footprint, is closing its 2020/2021 financial year with a significant improvement in its main financial aggregates. This confirms the profitability of its activity with EBITDA up 177% year-on-year to € 2.9 million and operating income of € 1.4 million, up from a loss of € 143,000 for the 2019 financial year. / 2020. These results confirm the Group’s strategy and business model as well as its ability to accelerate its development.
In thousands of euros (K €)
Net income, Group share
The Board of Directors of La Française de l’Énergie, which met on October 19, 2021, approved the annual accounts on June 30e, 2021. The Group’s Statutory Auditors have carried out their due diligence on these accounts and their reports are in the process of being issued.
Strong growth in financial indicators, driven by increased production volumes and control of operating costs
The 2020/2021 financial year was characterized by a significant increase in turnover, mainly driven by an improvement in gas, electricity and heat sales volumes. The recent low-carbon energy production sites of Béthune and Creutzwald have also contributed to the increase in revenues, as have soaring gas prices in France (+ 36%) and electricity prices in Belgium (+ 42%).
These excellent operational performances allow the Group to record a turnover of 10.2 M €, up 30% over one year and more than 900,000 tonnes of CO.2eq emissions were avoided during this fiscal year.
Nevertheless, the improvement in production volumes combined with excellent control of operating and administration costs resulted in a further 12% year-on-year drop in the Group’s production cost per MWh. The Group’s EBITDA rose to € 2.9 million, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 29% (vs. 14% in 2019/2020). Operating profit also improved significantly to € 1.4 million. This performance therefore confirms the Group’s ability to develop its activity while promoting its cost structure.
Despite an increase in financial charges, mainly linked to the addition of new loans dedicated to new projects, net income more than doubled to reach € 274,000.
Reinforced financial structure to support the Group’s developments
La Française de l’Énergie confirms its ability to generate positive operating cash flows of around € 5.3 million over the year (+ € 4.5 million over one year) and notes an improvement in its cash flow, thanks to new additional loans:
– € 2 million in advance and project financing between Cellcius and Caisse d’Epargne, including a loan of € 1.3 million with a 20-year maturity at 1.5% for the Creutzwald solar thermal project, and
– € 8.8 million in crowdfunding bonds at 4 and 5 years raised by Gazonor Béthune and EG NPC (for the 2 additional cogeneration plants (CHP) of Avion) with a maturity of 4.75% for finance the equity capital required by the Group, thus enabling La Française de l’Énergie to further reduce its cost of capital.
As of June 30e, 2021, the Group thus posts cash of € 7 million (up € 3.2 million year-on-year) and maintains its investment capacity intact with a conservative net debt / equity ratio of 36%.
Growth prospects and revenue growth confirmed for 2022
The Group maintained a sustained investment policy during the year with investment flows of nearly € 9.5 million, up 300% compared to last year. The main investments include the construction and commissioning of the largest solar thermal power plant in France with injection into a district heating network and the Béthune project where gas, electricity and heat are delivered to the local municipality.
La Française de l’Energie is on track to meet its 2022 roadmap while strengthening its unique positioning in France and Belgium. The deployment of new low-carbon local energy solutions is accelerating with the commissioning of 5 new 1.5 MW cogeneration plants on the Avion (3 MW) and Anderlues (4.5 MW) sites, i.e. 7.5 MW of additional capacity by the end of the year, as well as a first development of 6 cogeneration plants under the new concession called Sud Charleroi, i.e. 9 additional MW which will be installed at the end of 2021/2022 .
The Group has also launched construction work on its 15 MW solar power plant at Tritteling-Redlach in Moselle and plans to commission it at the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.
The € 40 million green bond issued in September 2021 with Edmond de Rothschild AM, of which a first tranche of € 25 million has already been made available for the development of the FDE’s low-carbon energy portfolio in France and Belgium, allows the Group to commit resources to accelerate its growth and reach 49.5 MW of installed capacity by the end of December 2022. Thanks to the implementation of these projects, 3 million tonnes of CO2eq emissions will be avoided every year.
In Lorraine, the Group finalized the analysis of the opportunities linked to the development of gas in the form of carbon-free hydrogen and the sequestration of CO2. The environmental, technical and economic aspects were analyzed by the La Française de l’Energie team supported by experts from Schlumberger, CNRS, Enerka and the University of Lorraine. The two strong strategic axes retained by the company are linked to the production of hydrogen by pyrolysis of methane and the development of a large CO deposit.2 storage capacity in deep coals.
La Française de l’Énergie has thus validated its participation in two ambitious industrial consortia in France and Belgium, which will eventually see the implementation of low-carbon hydrogen production pilots by pyrolysis on several of its sites, upstream of ” possible industrial development.
At the same time, La Française de l’Energie is finalizing the pre-feasibility studies on the injection and storage of CO2 in the coal before launching tests on an existing site.
Through these new developments, La Française de l’Energie is strengthening its position as a benchmark player in reducing the carbon footprint of the regions where the Group operates.
La Française de l’Energie thus confirms its objective of achieving annualized revenue of € 35 million and an EBITDA margin of over 45% by the end of 2022.
25 octobere, 2021 – Q1 2021/2022 revenue
Reuters code: LFDE.PA | Bloomberg code: LFDE.FP
About La Française de l’Énergie
La Française de l’Energie is an SME with a negative carbon footprint, specializing in the establishment of decentralized energy production sites. La Française de l’Energie supplies gas, electricity and heat to regional players, thus replacing imported energy with local and cleaner energy. La Française de l’Énergie has strong development potential and aims to become a benchmark independent player in the energy sector in Europe. The company benefits from the innovative company label awarded by Bpifrance.
More information available to www.francaisedelenergie.fr
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1Does not include Green Certificates obtained thanks to its Belgian production since 2019. FDE continues its efforts to activate their contribution to turnover.
2Results of the companies Cellcius dedicated to the operation of the Creutzwald thermal solar power plant (owned 51% by FDE and 49% by Enes) and FalkenSun dedicated to the construction and operation of the FalkenSun photovoltaic solar power plant (owned 75% by FDE and 25% by Mercury Advisors)