In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to dominate events on the financial and capital markets. The global economic upswing that set in from the middle of the year led in part to massive supply bottlenecks and price increases for raw materials of all kinds. This development is reflected in the higher inflation rates in the USA and the Euro zone. The reaction of central banks and market players will depend on how sustainable inflation rates turn out to be in the coming months. The conservative approach to Energie AG's funding and investment policy again proved its value in the past fiscal year.
External rating confirms resilience to crises
In March 2021, the international rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) again confirmed the creditworthiness of Energie AG with an excellent rating of “A with a stable outlook”. For more than 20 years, the Company has had a credit rating by external experts and has held an excellent position both among Austrian energy suppliers as well as in an international comparison. The rating award underlines Energie AG's strong performance and crisis resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Energie AG therefore continues to secure unimpeded and cost-optimised access to the financial and capital markets.
Ensuring high, sustainable financial flexibility
Energie AG successfully placed bonds with institutional investors in May 2021 for long-term corporate financing. A total volume of EUR 75.0 million was issued in several tranches with maturities of 20, 25 and 30 years at very attractive conditions. The proceeds are used for the funding of sustainable infrastructure projects, predominantly for investments into the expansion and renewal of hydroelectric power plants and photovoltaic systems, as well as the expansion of the electricity grid in Upper Austria.
Financial liabilities increased from EUR 597.6 million as of 30 September 2020 to EUR 670.1 million as of 30 September 2021 due to issuing registered bonds. The Group's repayment profile is characterised by bullet loans. As of the reporting date, Energie AG had high liquidity reserves. These resulted primarily from the very good operating performance in the past fiscal year and from high liquidity additions (margin payments) in connection with hedging transactions in the commodity area. As of 30 September 2021, cash and cash equivalents in the form of account balances, time deposits and short-term investments totalling EUR 325.0 million were available (previous year: EUR 156.1 million).
The sound liquidity reserves and the excellent credit rating guarantee the strong financial flexibility of the Energie AG Group in the long term.
Central Group-internal financial management
Group-internal funding is managed centrally by Energie AG Group Treasury GmbH. In the scope of cash pooling throughout the Group, short-term liquidity management was secured between the 27 Austrian Group companies in the period under review (figures valid as of 30 September 2021).