Partnership with equity investors and outside creditors

Continuing the sound financial policy aims at sustainably increasing the company value and the attractiveness of Energie AG Group for equity investors and outside creditors. Forward-looking initiatives such as a pro-active liquidity assurance are aimed at warranting stability and resilience in times of crisis, as well as with respect to uncertain macroeconomic developments in Austria.

Positioning the company as a reliable and stable partner for equity investors and outside creditors is an important goal of Energie AG Group. This goal is pursued stringently and sustainably by means of a stable dividend policy for shareholders as well as a financial policy that places great importance on safeguarding a good and sustainably solid credit rating.

The goal of the Energie AG Group is to generate an ROCE (Return on Capital Employed) that is higher than the WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital) through consistently value-oriented corporate management and control. For its internal management and assessment of earning power, the Energie AG Group primarily relies on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and ROCE, see Group Management Report, Business development in the Group, Corporate management and capital costs.

The target for the long-term creditworthiness of Energie AG Group is a rating within the A group. In March 2023, the international ratings agency S&P Global Ratings again confirmed the creditworthiness of Energie AG with an “A” rating (with a stable outlook). The analysts assessed the Group's stability and resilience in a highly volatile and crisis-laden environment as particularly positive. For more than two decades, the Energie AG Group has had a credit rating by external experts as one of the top ranking European energy suppliers.

As a consequence of continuing turbulence on the European markets for energy and raw materials combined with the associated, potentially high liquidity requirements from the energy trading business, Energie AG continued to secure its liquidity needs in the 2022/2023 fiscal year by maintaining extensive – and partly committed – lines of credit with Austrian and German banks. Lines of credit are available up to a total of EUR 950 million and thus safeguard Energie AG's ability to take action even if markets were to be volatile in the future. Also see the Group Management Report, Business development in the Group, Funding and investment strategy.

The securing of long-term funding on the capital markets plays an important role, in particular for the financing of sustainable infrastructure projects for the expansion and renewal of hydroelectric power and photovoltaic plants as well as the expansion of the electricity grid in Upper Austria. The transformation toward a sustainable energy supply will require massive investment programmes from the entire industry over the next couple of years. The commercial successes enjoyed in recent years enable Energie AG to make a significant contribution to and actively participate in the energy transition.

The Energie AG Group responds to the identified macroeconomic risks from turbulences on the energy market and the implications of multiple crises with efficiency improvement measures, a value-based investment management, and new business models aimed at harnessing additional earning potentials.

Through its business activities, the Energie AG Group is subject to a range of legal and regulatory conditions. Complying with all obligations in the areas of taxes, duties and charges is the main aim of tax policy. These obligations include in particular the correct and timely submission of returns as well as payments.

To meet its obligations, the Energie AG Group makes available the necessary resources and pays particular attention to the selection and ongoing training of employees involved in this area. Sophisticated IT systems are used to record transactions on the basis of documented rules. A tax control system has been set up to maintain quality. External advisors are also brought in to review tax returns and analyse complex questions.

Information on the economic position of Energie AG Group can be found in the Group Management Report and at that location in the chapter headed Business development in the Group, Macroeconomic environment and Economic environment for the energy sector as well as in the Consolidated Financial Statements.