EnBW expects “substantially higher earnings in 2019” compared to last year as it brings its Hohe See and Albatros offshore wind projects in the North Sea into operation this fall, which jointly will have a capacity of 609MW, chief financial officer Thomas Kusterer said.

“Following on from further earnings growth in the 2018 fiscal year, we aim to sustain and accelerate the positive trend,” Kusterer said.

“To that end, we are building on a broad business portfolio combined with systematic expansion of our growth segments.”

Renewable energies in the first quarter of this year have already boosted the German utility’s profit, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in the segment rising by 24.3% to €118.3m ($132.8m) from the year-earlier period.

That helped overall company adjusted Ebitda to rise by 5.3% to €772.9m in the first quarter. Revenue at EnBW rose 12.4% to 6.67bn in the quarter year-on-year, while the group’s net profit jumped by 99.1% to €273.8m, which is, however, largely attributable to an improvement in the financial result.

The earnings growth in renewables came amid good wind conditions this spring, most of all with an improvement in offshore wind yields. New builds and purchases of onshore array, among other places in Sweden, also helped earnings.

Investments surged 40.4% to €329.9m, with more than three quarters of that related to growth projects, mostly in grids and renewables, where they were primarily directed at the Hohe See and Albatros construction projects.

The two wind farms together comprise the largest offshore wind farm project currently under construction in Germany.

After shifting its focus on renewables in recent years, EnBW is stepping up its investments and has earmarked €12bn by 2025 for 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.