CEO’s Review

Strong growth continued – profitability improved in core businesses

Enersense’s strong growth continued in the second quarter. The Group’s revenue increased by 34.4% in January–June and was EUR  161.3 (120.0) million. The order backlog stood at EUR 527 (295) million. The Group’s adjusted EBITDA was EUR 3.5 (5.0) million. The  profitability of core business operations improved in all business areas, but investments in strategic focus areas had a negative impact of  EUR 3.2 million on the EBITDA. In the comparison period, the recognition of EUR 8.5 million arising from the Enersense Wind  acquisition had a positive impact on the EBITDA. On the other hand, the operating environment in early 2022 was very exceptional because of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the strike in the ICT sector in particular, which burdened the result for the comparison period.

Our work to improve the profitability of our core business operations has begun to produce results. In Smart Industry in particular,  the growth of volumes in service and project business operations is reflected in improved profitability. In the International Operations and Connectivity business areas, the good volumes and profitability improvement measures produced results in the first half of the  year. High activity in the construction of high-voltage power lines continues in the Baltic countries, and since the end of 2022,  Connectivity has announced optical fibre connection construction contracts totalling around EUR 100 million, which will increase  business volumes. The market situation in the Power business area continues to be good, and after the seasonally challenging first  quarter, the profitability of core business operations improved in the second quarter. Enersense plays an important role in projects related to Finland’s main grid, and in the first half of the year, we won projects totalling around EUR 40 million.

During the past five years, Enersense has been the strongest grower on Nasdaq Helsinki by revenue growth (CAGR). In line with our  specified strategy, we are actively investing in strengthening our position also in our strategic focus areas. At the beginning of June,  we announced that we had started an assessment of the options to accelerate the achievement of the Power business area’s growth targets and especially our strategic target to become a significant producer of clean energy. Our own energy production target is 600–700 MW by 2027, which we have estimated will require investments of EUR 700–800 million. We are now looking for the best  possible solution to boost the implementation of our growth strategy. At the end of the review period, our renewable energy project  portfolio was around 8,100 MW (December 2022: 8,000 MW), which provides a good basis for our determined progress towards our own energy production target.

In charging solutions for zero-emission transport, we moved to industrial-scale production by starting cooperation with Scanfil during the review period. Enersense’s new high-power charger makes it possible to increase the charging power of an individual charging  device from 30 kW to 160 kW. We believe that this cooperation will offer us good growth opportunities. During summer 2023, we will deliver high-power charging solutions to Norway, Finland and Sweden, and we are seeing plenty of opportunities in the Nordic  charging site market.

In June, we announced that the City of Pori had started to build an international centre of excellence and operations for offshore wind  power. Enersense is involved in the project, and our expertise in offshore wind power as well as our production facilities (50,000 m2)  in Mäntyluoto in Pori are playing an important role in building the centre of excellence. The Bothnian Sea region is one of the most favourable areas for the construction of wind power plants, even in international comparison: a total of 15 major power plant projects  within a radius of 400 kilometres from Pori have been announced in Finland and Sweden. The centre of excellence supports  Enersense’s growth targets and enables Enersense to further strengthen its role as an EPCI supplier in offshore wind power projects.  Investments in the ramp-up of Enersense Offshore, which we acquired in autumn 2021, are also beginning to materialise. At the  beginning of July, Aker Solutions ordered steel structure modules from Enersense for the Hugin A production platform, which is part  of the development of the Yggdrasil oil and gas field operated by Aker BP in the North Sea. We believe that a well-executed project will enable the expansion of our cooperation into the rapidly growing energy market, where Aker Solutions has strong experience.

Alongside strategic projects, we are continuing our work to streamline our core business portfolio. We are aiming to focus on our core  competences and divest operations that are not integral to them. As part of this review, we sold all shares in Enersense Solutions to  Econia, which is part of Administer Group. Enersense Solutions provides contractor liability services, and the transaction also  included its E-Sense system. A capital gain of EUR 0.9 million from the transaction was recorded in the second quarter.

Jussi Holopainen

(Half-year Financial Report 2023, 3 August 2023)