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Record renewables output drives EDF to rebound in fortunes

Image: EDF.

Image: EDF.

EDF Energy has reported an earnings rebound for 2018, driven partly by record renewables output.

Reporting its financial results for the previous year today, the French energy major reported that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2018 stood at €15.265 billion (£13.424 billion), up more than 11% year-on-year.

This was attributed partly to its surging renewables divisions. Output from generators under the EDF Renewables banner surged 15% year-on-year to 15.2TWh, driving the unit’s revenue up 8.4% to €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion).

And the firm has more renewables development lined up. EDF Renewables’ pipeline currently stands at 2.4GW, made up of 1.2GW each of wind and solar PV.

Its UK-facing business however could not report similar growth. Earnings from the UK slipped more than 15% year-on-year to €783 million (£688 million) as lower localised nuclear prices hit home, while the country’s competitive supplier market was also troublesome for the firm.

EDF lost more than 200,000 customer accounts last year, leaving it with 4.9 million residential customers across electricity and gas.

It’s not the only Big Six member to have lost customer accounts however, as competition in the UK supply market continues to bite. At the end of last month npower confirmed it was to lose 900 jobs over the coming year as its struggles in the market continued, while SSE earlier this week revealed that it lost 160,000 customers in the final three months of 2018 alone.

Nevertheless Jean-Bernard Lévy, chief executive at EDF, said the rebound in results was evidence of the firm exceeding its targets.

“We have stabilised our net financial debt, strengthened our balance sheet, reached a record for generation in renewable energies, succeeded in overhauling the French nuclear sector and strengthened our supply business through several significant innovations.

“Our performance will not only continue but will be amplified in 2019… With its dynamism, EDF will play a leading role in the implementation of the Multi-Year Energy Plan, which provides the Group with a clear framework and growth opportunities for the coming years,” he said.

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