In the financial year 2019, revenues at BayWa AG, Munich, Germany, increased to €17.1 billion (2018: €16.6 billion), thereby exceeding the mark of €17 billion for the first time. As planned, the company also generated a significant improvement in earnings, with EBIT rising to €188.4 million (2018: €172.4 million). BayWa therefore achieved its targets for the year and plans to increase the dividend by 5 cents to 95 cents per share for 2019.
“The positive development in the Energy Segment made the largest contribution to BayWa’s good overall development in the past year. Global Produce – our fruit business – was also successful, and Agricultural Equipment developed significantly better than expected even following the record year seen in 2018. Building Materials also put on a show of strength,” said Klaus Josef Lutz, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG. All told, agricultural trade activities fell short of expectations, he added. International trade disputes negatively impacted earnings, as did the dry conditions in many regions of Germany over the summer. “In particular, the renewed increase in earnings in the renewable energy and conventional energy business more than compensated for the effects resulting from the difficult market conditions in agriculture,” Lutz explained. He also pointed out that the burdens related to the antitrust proceedings, which were concluded at the end of the year, and the associated costs had been included in the annual result without jeopardising the efforts to achieve the targets for 2019.
At present, it is not possible to make a serious assessment of the results for 2020 due to the incalculable effects of the Covid-19 crisis. “Thanks to our diversified business model, however, we believe that we are well positioned despite the difficult situation, plus we are absolutely determined to deliver on our mission of helping people to meet their basic needs,” Klaus Josef Lutz said.
Energy Segment outperforms expectations once again
The Energy Segment increased its revenues to ?4.47 billion in 2019 (2018: €4.0 billion) and raised its EBIT to €127.4 million (2018: €96.0 million). The segment therefore set a new record and significantly outperformed the expectations.
In the Renewable Energies business unit, all activities developed very successfully. With a total output of 911.6 megawatts (MW) (2018: 453 MW), sales of wind farms and solar parks doubled year on year. Trade in photovoltaic components increased by a good 70% to 927.0 megawatt-peak, driven primarily by the improvement in competitiveness due to falling production costs for modules and the acquisition of a Canadian solar trader. The service business also continued to grow, with global plant capacity under management rising to 8.3 gigawatts (GW) (2018: 5.7 GW).
Likewise, the Conventional Energy business unit posted very positive development. Sales volumes of heating oil increased, as did the sale of wood pellets, which benefited from low prices and the partnership with WUN Pellets GmbH, a producer of wood pellets. Lower heating oil prices and customers looking from autumn 2019 to stock up on fuel on account of the German federal government’s climate package were the drivers of earnings in this business unit.