When a new type of virus appeared in China at the end of 2019, it was not foreseeable that social and economic life worldwide would be massively affected within a very short time. Only the coordinated provision of billions of euros in liquidity lines by central banks and the rapid implementation of government support measures and aid programmes prevented a collapse of the global economy. In view of the ongoing crisis-induced situation, the financial and capital markets are continuing to react with abrupt price swings and valuation distortions in the short term.
More than ever, the strategy of a conservative funding and investment policy again proved its value for Energie AG during the year under review.
Top rating highlights the Group's strong credit standing
An excellent credit standing is a valuable anchor for financial stability and continuity, particularly in these challenging and unsettled times.
In March 2020, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) confirmed the creditworthiness of Energie AG again with a rating of “A with a stable outlook”. With the renewed confirmation of its excellent rating, Energie AG continues to secure unimpeded and cost-optimised access to the financial and capital markets, in order to be able to continue to realise its ambitious investment targets for sustainable projects at economically attractive conditions in the future.
Stable and future-proof finances
In the year under review, Energie AG issued registered bonds with a volume of EUR 100 million to cover long-term funding requirements. The tranches were placed with international investors at very attractive conditions and have a final maturity of 20 years. This ensures the Company's long-term financial flexibility. The increase in financial liabilities as of 30 September 2020 to EUR 597.6 million (previous year: EUR 455.7 million) is also due to recognising lease liabilities in accordance with IFRS 16 for the first time.
At the reporting date, the Energie AG Group had cash and cash equivalents of EUR 46.3 million, as well as short-term fixed term deposits and money-market instruments with a total value of EUR 109.8 million. In view of the major distortions on financial and capital markets, Energie AG entered into negotiations with financial institutions at an early stage in order to secure additional credit lines. As of 30 September 2020, the Company had unused and readily available credit lines of EUR 385.3 million at its disposal, partly in the form of credit commitments. By proactively securing sufficient sources of funding and liquidity, the Energie AG Group is also well prepared for unexpected future crisis scenarios.
In the year under review, the Group's internal financial management was again implemented centrally in the holding company. In the scope of cash pooling operations, short-term liquidity management was secured between the 26 Austrian Group companies (figures valid as at 30 September 2020).