Significant US offshore wind energy capacity awarded

Today, Ørsted’s Board of Directors approved the interim report for the first half year of 2021.

Our operating profit (EBITDA) for the first half year amounted to DKK 13.1 billion, a DKK 3.3 billion increase compared to the same period last year. The increase was driven by a gain of DKK 5.4 billion from the 50 % farm-down of our Dutch offshore wind farm Borssele 1 & 2.

Earnings from our offshore and onshore wind farms in operation were DKK 0.3 billion lower compared to the same period last year. The increased generation capacity from new wind farms in operation was more than offset by significantly lower wind speeds across our portfolio. As expected, higher TNUoS tariffs due to more UK wind farms, lower earnings from Horns Rev 2 due to subsidy period ending in October 2020, and lower ROC recycle prices also had a negative impact.

Earnings from existing partnerships decreased by DKK 1.8 billion compared with the same period last year. H1 2020 saw high earnings from the construction agreement related to the Hornsea 1 transmission asset, whereas H1 2021 was negatively impacted by a warranty provision towards partners related to cable protection system issues at some of our offshore wind farms, as announced earlier this year.

Our Bioenergy & Other business managed to achieve earnings in line with the same period last year despite the divestment of our Danish power distribution, residential customer, and city light businesses in August 2020. This was due to exceptional performance by our CHP plants and high earnings from our gas business.

Net profit amounted to DKK 7.1 billion and return on capital employed (ROCE) came in at 12.5 %.

We maintain our full-year EBITDA guidance of DKK 15-16 billion. However, due to the significantly lower than normal wind speeds across our entire offshore wind portfolio (including in July) and the warranty provision towards our partners related to cable protection system issues at some of our wind farms, we currently expect the outcome in the low end of the guided range. The guidance is based on an assumption of normal wind speeds in the last five months of the year. In line with previous years, our EBITDA guidance does not include earnings from new partnerships during the year, which means that the gain from the Borssele 1 & 2 farm-down is excluded from our full-year guidance.

With the closing of the acquisition of the European onshore growth platform Brookfield Renewable Ireland in June and the expected acquisition of the fully constructed 302 MW US onshore wind project Lincoln Land later this year, we increase our full-year gross investment guidance from DKK 32-34 billion to DKK 39-41 billion.

Mads Nipper, Group President and CEO of Ørsted, says in a comment to the interim report for the first half year of 2021:
“In the first half of 2021, we’ve delivered good operational performance, while reaching multiple significant milestones and engaging in a range of strategic partnerships. Within our Offshore business, Ocean Wind 2 was awarded a 1,148 MW contract in New Jersey, fully utilising our Ocean Wind lease area. Our total awarded US portfolio now exceeds 4 GW. We also entered into several new strategic partnerships in Norway, Korea, Scotland, and Japan. In our Onshore business, we commissioned our combined solar PV and storage facility Permian Energy Center and our so far biggest onshore wind farm Western Trail, both located in Texas.

At our Capital Markets Day in June, we updated our long-term financial guidance and raised our strategic ambition for renewable capacity to approx. 50 GW in 2030. As our industry’s sustainability leader, we’ve set the ambition that no later than 2030, all new projects commissioned must have a net-positive biodiversity impact. Furthermore, we commit to either reuse, recycle, or recover all of the wind turbine blades in our global portfolio upon decommissioning. In addition, in our H1 2021 report, we have taken the first steps to commence reporting of our revenue, EBITDA, and CAPEX according to the new EU taxonomy whose purpose is to support the green transition.”

Financial key figures for H1 2021:

DKK millionQ2 2021Q2 2020%H1 2021H1 2020%
EBITDA8,1962,956177 %13,0599,76134 %
Profit (loss) for the period5,544(825)n.a.7,1422,493186 %
Cash flows from operating activities3,1478,197(62 %)11,2347,76945 %
Gross investments(12,133)(3,757)223 %(18,798)(9,065)107 %
Free cash flow1,6054,485(64 %)2,996(1,244)n.a.
Net interest-bearing debt12,06722,272(46 %)12,06722,272(46 %)
FFO/adjusted net debt63 %43 %20 %p63 %43 %20 %p
ROCE13 %11 %2 %p13 %11 %2 %p

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted ranks as the world’s most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights’ 2021 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,472 people. Ørsted’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2020, the group’s revenue was DKK 52.6 billion (EUR 7.1 billion).