Holding & Services Segment overview










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Business development in the Holding & Services Segment

Sales revenues in the Holding & Services Segment amounted to EUR 259.9 million in the reporting period, which was up 4.2% on the previous year's figure of EUR 249.4 million. This positive development was attributable to sales revenue growth in the telecommunications business area and across all service companies.

The operating result grew from EUR 8.8 million in the 2018/2019 fiscal year to EUR 14.4 million in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. Increased profit shares from investments consolidated at equity in the Holding & Services Segment contributed to the increase in the operating result in the Holding & Services Segment, as did a higher EBIT contribution from the telecommunications business area and lower expenses in the Holding & Services Segment. Impairments were recognised for telecommunications equipment in the reporting period. In the previous year, EBIT included higher property sales than in the reporting period in addition to impairments on telecommunications equipment.

Future-proof fibre-optic technology indispensable in times of crisis

Length of fibre-optic network

in km

Length of Fibre-Optic Network (bar chart)

The need for fast data connections was clearly demonstrated in the reporting period by the exceptional situation of the COVID-19 pandemic: more intensive home-office activities and the increased use of entertainment services caused a significant additional load on the data network, but fibre-optic technology was able to handle this without any noticeable restrictions for customers. It was thus possible to guarantee the required bandwidths and a high connection quality throughout. The Energie AG Group's strategy of relying on future-proof glass fibre technology was again confirmed by these developments. As of 30 September 2020, the Group's own fibre-optic network comprised approx. 6,600 km (previous year: 6,100 km).

Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) expansion continued to make progress almost as planned in the year under review. By now, more than 35,000 households in 199 municipalities can choose from Energie AG Group's FIBER product portfolio (internet with download speeds of up to 500 Mbps, plus a TV product and telephony). In the wholesale sector, Energie AG Oberösterreich Telekom GmbH (Telekom GmbH) offers other providers the possibility to connect their mobile communications facilities with optical fibre or to serve customers via the Group's own fibre-optic network.

Another area of Telekom GmbH's business activity is providing electricity metering services for Netz OÖ GmbH. During the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the mass roll-out for smart metering devices (IME-VO Amendment 2017) was completed on schedule. As at 30 September 2020, 651,596 AMIS meters were installed (previous year: approx. 633,000). At a roll-out level of around 99% (previous year: 94%), the legal requirements are thus fully met.

Strategic investments

The at-equity consolidated entities Wels Strom GmbH and Salzburg AG, as well as further minority holdings complete the business portfolio of Energie AG.

Wels Strom GmbH, in which Energie AG holds a 49% interest, is the integrated electricity supply company of the city of Wels. Other business areas include heat generation for the municipal district heating network and energy systems for key account customers.

Construction work on the new Traunleiten hydropower plant, originally built in 1901, which started in September 2017, was completed at the beginning of 2020 and the power plant resumed normal operation. The investment volume amounted to EUR 48.0 million; from 2020 onward, this will enable full coverage of the domestic electricity demand for the greater Wels area solely with green electricity from hydroelectric power. This doubled output to 19 MW with annual production of 90 GWh in the future.

In the last completed fiscal year (1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019), the electricity sales volume to customers increased to 723 GWh (2018: 630 GWh), 7.2% of which was covered by own production, mainly from hydroelectric power. Some 27% of the electricity sales volume was generated outside the grid area of Wels Strom GmbH.

In the scope of an extensive strategy project, the owners of Wels Strom GmbH – eww ag and Energie AG – intend to intensify cooperation together with the subsidiary in the supply of heat and electricity to the Wels area. The aim is to leverage synergy potentials and improve service quality by creating a single point of contact for the Wels supply networks for electricity, district heating, gas, water and waste water. After concretisation and content elaboration in autumn 2020, this future initiative is to be implemented in 2021 and 2022.

Salzburg AG für Energie, Verkehr und Telekommunikation (Salzburg AG) is in transition from a simple utility and regional infrastructure service provider with activities in the fields of electricity, natural gas, district heating, water, mobility and telecommunications to a digital technology company. Energie AG holds a 26.13% interest in the entity.

In the last reporting period (1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019), the focus was mainly on pushing forward with climate protection and digitalisation in the scope of in-house projects and in collaboration with start-ups, as well as on traditional business units. In addition to the expansion of the electricity grid by subsidiary Salzburg Netz GmbH, the expansion of broadband and 5G, and thus the strengthening of the telecommunications infrastructure, took priority for the Company with an investment volume of around EUR 75.3 million in 2019. Innovative approaches in the field of product development were taken in the form of new photovoltaic offerings among other things. Artificial intelligence and data science were used in collaboration with partners to develop a forecast model for the Austrian electricity price based on fundamental, market and weather data. At the same time, the company is the largest mobility provider in the federal state of Salzburg with some 52 million passengers annually.

In economic terms, business development in the 2019 fiscal year was characterised by declining trading volumes in electricity and gas while sales to end users increased. At 3,471 GWh, the electricity sales volume to customers was 6.3% above the previous year's level with around 51% being covered by own production, 85.5% of which from renewable sources. Natural gas sales volumes increased by 3.0% to 1,721 GWh, while district heating volumes were up by 3.6% on the previous year at 778 GWh. As in the previous fiscal years, sales success was noted in cable TV, internet and telecommunications offerings. The number of internet customer systems exceeded a value of 100,000 for the first time.

Shared services

The four Group-wide service companies

  • Energie AG Oberösterreich Business Services GmbH (Business Services GmbH),
  • Energie AG Oberösterreich Customer Services GmbH (Customer Services GmbH),
  • Energie AG Oberösterreich Personalmanagement GmbH (Personalmanagement GmbH) as well as
  • Energie AG Oberösterreich Tech Services GmbH (Tech Services GmbH)

are combined in the Holding & Services Segment.

These service companies provide commercial and technical services for the entire Group in accordance with precisely defined quality and safety standards. These services are guided by external market conditions for similar products and services.

Business Services GmbH bundles services for the Energie AG Group in the areas of purchasing and logistics, real estate management, information technology, accounting, and insurance and legal services. The work focuses in the 2019/2020 fiscal year were the implementation of digitalised official mail, the realisation of projects within the framework of the Group's digitalisation strategy and the continuation of the security awareness campaign with a focus on remote work, data protection, internet and email security. The ongoing project to adapt the SAP system architecture for billing and customer services was continued. In the 2019/2020 fiscal year, work took place on the integration of the gas sector. The reporting period also saw the construction and conversion of office and workshop buildings at the Schalchen and Gmunden locations, while planning of the extension to the Group headquarters in Linz was completed.

Customer Services GmbH was also strongly involved in the project to adapt the SAP system architecture in the area of billing and customer services. This entity bundles the Group's customer services and data protection back office, billing, provider switch management, receivables management and payment processing in customer-facing operations. In addition to the reliable provision of customer services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019/2020 fiscal year was characterised by numerous projects. For example, billing processing for joint generation plants was implemented on the basis of the EDA (energy sector data exchange) user portal in the reporting period. In addition, the customer-consent management data release processes for customers regulated in the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), Art. 7, and in accordance with industry agreements were elaborated and came into force in October 2020. In the 2019/2020 fiscal year, employees provided services for around 1.5 million customer contracts.

The focus of Personalmanagement GmbH's activities is both on governing matters related to personnel strategy and personnel policy for the Group, and on all agendas relating to personnel and management development, personnel support, personnel accounting and apprenticeship programs. In the 2019/2020 fiscal year, work again focused on several employer branding activities and the conclusion of a trainee program with a main focus on female trainees. In addition, the competency model introduced in 2014 was evaluated and adapted, and the “Charter of Agile, Cross-Divisional Cooperation in Energie AG” project was launched as an output of the “Energie AG Future Lab” management academy.

As the central expertise owner for all technical services at Energie AG, Tech Services GmbH is the expert point of contact for planning, implementation and maintenance. These services were primarily provided for affiliated companies in the Group in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. Orders from external customers were also accepted to balance capacity utilisation. The COVID-19 lockdown posed a very special challenge in the year under review. Numerous construction sites at which work was in progress had to be secured with work stopping at short notice. Work was resumed with great care, and appropriate protective measures in place. Despite these difficult conditions, a substantial volume of orders was processed in the reporting period and delays caused by the COVID-19 lockdown in the spring were made up, thus preventing any negative impact on results.