Earnings fell at Orsted during the first quarter of 2021, mainly because the Danish group booked extraordinary gains in the year-earlier quarter from a construction agreement related to transmission assets at the 1.4GW Hornsea 1 offshore wind project in the UK that were not repeated this time.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebtida) went down 29% to DKr4.86bn ($792m) in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter in 2020. Wind speeds were also higher last year, and the company had divested distribution, residential customer and city light businesses a year earlier.
The first quarter of this year was also impacted by a DKr0.8bn warranty provision related to cable protection system issues at some of Orsted’s offshore wind farms.
Net profit plunged by 52% to DKr1.6bn in the period.
Chief executive Mads Nipper, however, pointed to a good operational performance during the first quarter of this year, and multiple milestones reached by the company in recent months.
“In our offshore business, the Polish Baltica 2 & 3 projects with a total capacity of up to 2.5GW were awarded contracts for difference and we’ve entered a new partnership in the Baltic States,” Nipper said.
“We also signed an agreement to farm down 50% of Borssele 1 & 2. In our onshore business, we’ve made a strategic acquisition in Ireland and the UK, which provides us with a platform for future growth in the European onshore renewables market.”
The company said its operations and financial performance continued to remain solid despite the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting it to maintain a full-year Ebitda guidance of DKr15-16bn for this year.