PPC reports 3.5-mln-euros pre-tax profit in Q1; Hatzidakis response

Public Power Corporation SA on Tuesday said its pre-tax profits totaled 3.5 million euros in the first quarter of 2020 from a loss of 248.5 million in the corresponding period last year, while adjusted EBITDA reached 182 million euros (from a loss of 66.3 million last year).

In an announcement, PPC said the Group’s management, during the previous period, monitored daily the developments and measures taken regarding the rapid spread of COVID-19 and assessed any adverse or positive impacts that may have arisen, making estimates for the following: – The evolution of electricity demand – The availability of Power Production Units – The evolution of expenditures (energy balance, payroll, other expenses etc.) – The evolution of revenues from electricity sales and other revenues (revenues from the use of the Distribution Network) – The evolution of expected cash flows – The possibility of breach of contracts by suppliers (due to extraordinary events) – The possibility of reduced electricity bills collection – The possibility of changing the Group’s investment plan However, the Greek Government has already applied a gradual approach for lifting the restrictive measures since the beginning of May 2020, raising hopes for the recovery of the Greek Economy in view of the summer season. Due to the fact that the majority of the impact mainly stems from the measures taken both worldwide and in Greece since mid-March 2020 in order to reduce the spread of the pandemic and to mitigate the economic impact on businesses and individuals, the Group’s operations have been affected, causing at the first place short-term effects on its financial position, operating results and cash flows, which however, will not have an impact in the medium to long term horizon on the implementation of its business and investment plans. The Group’s Management monitors all developments and is ready to re-evaluate its actions whenever necessary.

Commenting on the financial results, Mr. Georgios Stassis, Public Power Corporation’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “ The positive trend in the Group’s operating profitability, which begun in Q4 2019, continued in Q1 2020 with a recurring EBITDA of € 182 m. A positive development was the reduction of operating expenses due to the reduction among other of energy purchases and fuel expense due to lower System Marginal Price and natural gas prices, while at the same time, net debt declined by 52 million euros. The extraordinary conditions that we have been facing due to the Covid 19, pushed us to change our business operation in order to adapt to the new environment and ensure business continuity. We had to quickly swift to remote work, endorse new ways of communication, modify the way that we service our customers, safeguard the energy security of the country and to change long standing procedures within a very short period of time. Within this new framework, everyone’s response in the Group was immediate and effective. In addition, following the gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions and in full compliance with official guidelines, we proceeded to the relaunching of operations in physical stores since May 11. In parallel, we continue our efforts to service our customers with the best and safest possible way by reinforcing and expanding communication channels. In terms of receivables, there has been a gradual correction since mid April of the slowdown in collections recorded in March due to Covid 19. Within this environment we continue to pursue the realization of our strategic priorities, by moving forward investments in RES and the digital transformation of the Group. In addition utilizing modern technology we carried out an EGM remotely, via teleconference, with a high quorum, electing with increased majority two additional members to our Audit Committee which, by law, now acquires increased competencies and responsibilities. This is another step towards enhancing corporate governance in the Company with transparency and practices similar to the ones of big European companies.”

Environment & Energy Min. on PPC financial results: Efforts paying off

The Public Power Corporation’s turnaround results (PPC) for the first quarter of 2020 “is the recognition of government and company management efforts in the last 10 months,” Environment & Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said on Tuesday.

“PPC has followed a rising trend reflected in the value of its share – and in contravention to the coronavirus upheavals – and in its financial results,” he noted, and called Syriza criticism moves to upgrade and sell of parts of the company as “comedic opposition”.