A truly extraordinary year
2017: Best results in corporate history | Production exceeds “magical” threshold of 1,000 gigawatt hours | Significant increase in sales and output | Attractive dividend | Consequent capacity expansion: 80 MW in construction or soon to enter the construction phase
“2017 was an extraordinary year for W.E.B in many respects,” as the Chair of the Board of Directors, Frank Dumeier, attested at today’s Annual Results Press Conference of the Austrian wind power pioneer WEB Windenergie AG (W.E.B) in Vienna. “Everything just fell into place. After expanding our plant portfolio by 88 MW last year, we were able to benefit from these additional facilities in 2017, as they seamlessly fit into our overall power generation system. Moreover, this year’s wind conditions were much better than in the previous year and also better than we had expected. All these individual factors enabled us to generate one terawatt hour – or in other words: 1,000 gigawatt hours – of electricity, enough for almost 290,000 households, for the very first time in corporate history. That’s an increase of more than 40 percent in green energy production in a single year.”
Against this backdrop, the key financial figures of W.E.B went up another notch once again. As CFO Michael Trcka explained, “We managed to clearly improve both our sales revenue (+33%) and our operating result (+64%), while our group earnings – also thanks to one-off effects – more than doubled. In consequence, we are now able to offer an attractive dividend to our shareholders.”
Consequent capacity expansion continues
W.E.B continued expanding its plant portfolio with unabated intensity in 2017. If 2016 was a year of putting plants into operation – overall plant capacity increased by 88 MW as already mentioned – 2017 followed as another year of groundbreaking. Frank Dumeier: “In 2017 a series of new projects entered the implementation phase, and several others are just about to enter the construction phase. We are talking about an additional total capacity of more than 80 MW.” In concrete terms, five new wind farms and three photovoltaic projects in Austria, France, and Italy will be put into operation in 2018 and 2019.
International growth strategy
These new projects are the next step in the growth strategy of W.E.B. After starting in Austria, W.E.B had become active in Germany, France, Italy, and the Czech Republic early on. In the last few years, the company also opened up the market in Canada and the United States of America. Its international orientation secures a distribution of project development and production risks due to the ability of W.E.B to balance varying meteorological conditions, while benefitting from both local circumstances and subsidy conditions.
The company also intends to keep growing in the medium run – with an annual expansion of about 50 MW as a rough guideline. Frank Dumeier: “We currently have a solid development pipeline with more than 700 MW in Europe and North America.” In addition, the company is in an excellent position to acquire new projects both at home and abroad. Michael Trcka: “When we prevailed against the strong competition in a public tender for a project in Wörbzig, for example, we also became a more prominent player and potential cooperation partner in the German market.”
Professional operations, innovative marketing
In line with the continuous expansion of its plant portfolio, W.E.B also keeps working on improving its already high level of professional plant operations, innovative models in electricity marketing, and citizen participation.
In line with the expansion of its plant portfolio, W.E.B has gone ahead with the process of continuous improvement with regard to its already high level of professionalism in operational management as well as service and maintenance. At the same time, the company has also been expanding its innovative marketing of electricity under the name “W.E.B Grünstrom” (W.E.B Green Energy). These efforts also attracted external recognition: in 2017 W.E.B was finally presented with the Austrian Ecolabel – the state’s quality label for eco-friendly products and services. Furthermore, W.E.B was not only ranked No. 1 in the latest Power Supplier Check of WWF and GLOBAL 2000 but also described as a “driver of the electricity future”. Frank Dumeier: „Needless to say, both awards further improve our standing in the market.”
Strategy confirmed once more
The outstanding development of W.E.B in 2017 encourages the company to keep pursuing its ambitious strategy based on steady yet moderate capacity expansion, professional plant operations, innovative models in electricity marketing, and citizen participation. “Once again both our strategy and our team proved their success and excellence in 2017,” said Frank Dumeier. All of this shows that W.E.B is well-positioned in all areas to continue realizing its vision of playing a leading role in the energy transition, and do so actively and consistently.
“There are plenty of opportunities and potentials,” Michael Trcka suggested. “Our performance in 2017 was exceptional, as it was the result of our hard work combined with positive external influences. Nevertheless, all this encourages us even more to give everything we have and proceed with our growth strategy.” WEB WIndenergie Anual Report 2017