German utility EnBW plans to spend €12bn ($13.4bn) by 2025 in three strategic focus areas - sustainable generation infrastructure, system-critical infrastructure and smart infrastructure for customers.

The majority of the investment will be in growth areas, with the expansion of renewables being a strategic priority.

“Change will stay on our agenda. Up to now, change has been necessary to master the structural upheavals in our business. In the future, we need change in order to seize growth opportunities and shape our future as a company,” chief executive Frank Mastiaux said.

“To be successful looking ahead to 2025, we need three things: financial clout, a modern organisational line-up and an enthusiastic, highly capable workforce.”

The company expects to take on 3,600 new employees by the end of 2021, partly because of retirements in coming years, and to add new work force with digital skills.

As part of its strategy, EnBW has already started to enter new growth markets in a selective internationalisation strategy.

The company in January has announced its entry into the Swedish market by buying two operators that have 105MW of installed capacity, and plans to buy French wind and solar developer Valeco.

It is also expanding its solar activities as a third pillar of its renewables business, with 100MW already in operation and another 800MW in the pipeline, including a 175MW large-scale project in Germany’s Brandenburg state that is to be delivered without subsidies.

EnBW this year expects to start operations on its Hohe See and Albatros offshore arrays in the German North See and is developing the 900MW He Dreiht project as zero subsidy array to be commissioned in the mid-2020s.

Mastiaux made his announcements at the company’s annual general meeting in Karlsruhe after EnBW in late March said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in 2018 rose 2.1% to €2.16bn, while adjusted net profit fell 44.7% to €438m.

Last year was marked by difficult meteorological conditions and an unexpectedly prolonged inspection at the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant, the company said, with negative impacts in generation and trading and in renewable energies were offset in particular by a good performance in the grids business.