Geopolitical tensions have primarily dominated developments in the financial markets over the past 12 months and dampened economic development after the very good previous years. Due to the declining economic momentum and low inflation expectations, the central banks are once again the focus of attention – corresponding monetary policy easing has already been implemented or is still possible. In view of the uncertain situation in the international capital and interest markets, Energie AG continued its proven strategy of stable and conservative financial management in the year under review.
Top rating underlines successful track record
In February 2019, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) confirmed the creditworthiness of Energie AG again with an excellent rating of “A rating with a stable outlook”. The rating agency thus recognised the company's continuous efforts to further improve its operating and financial efficiency.
Energie AG can celebrate a successful anniversary with this renewed top rating: For 20 years now, the company has held an investment grade rating and has occupied an undisputed top position among European utilities since then. The stable track record Energie AG has embarked on will continue to be pursued consistently in order to achieve future financing objectives at economically attractive conditions in the Austrian and international money and capital markets.
Ensuring high financial flexibility
Financial liabilities increased only slightly by EUR 0.6 million to EUR 455.7 million in the 2018/2019 fiscal year compared with the previous year. The Group's balanced repayment profile is characterised by bullet maturities with increased refinancing requirements at first to come up in five years' time with the maturity of the “Bond 2005-2025”.
As at 30 September 2019, liquidity reserves in the form of cash, cash equivalents and time deposits totalled EUR 139.8 million. In addition, the company had access to committed credit lines in the amount of EUR 70.0 million at the end of the fiscal year. The solid liquidity reserves and the very good credit standing ensure the high financial flexibility of the Energie AG Group in the long term.
Group-wide central financial management
Intercompany funding is managed centrally by Energie AG Group Treasury GmbH (Group Treasury GmbH). In the scope of Group-wide cash pooling operations, short-term liquidity management is effected between the 25 Austrian Group companies. Group Treasury GmbH acts as the lead pool manager within the framework of a cash pooling system which is transacted in cooperation with two Austrian banks. Long-term funds are allocated in the Group in line with requirements and at arm's length market conditions. The central Group-internal financial control system ensures that funds are procured and used at optimum cost.