Montreal - Boralex Inc. ('Boralex' or the 'Company') (TSX: BLX) is pleased to report an increase in operating income and ongoing progress on development projects during the first quarter of 2022.
'We were particularly active at the start of the year, as Boralex entered into two major partnerships, one in France and the other in Quebec, which will allow us to accelerate our growth in these high-potential markets. In addition, three projects were selected during a call for tenders in France. These announcements, combined with the strong growth in our results, show that our teams are totally dedicated to implementing our 2025 Strategic Plan,' said Patrick Decostre, Boralex's President and Chief Executive Officer
'Several European countries have been grappling with major supply challenges and particularly high price levels in recent months. France is also affected by a historically low production of its nuclear power plants, mainly due to maintenance and corrosion problems affecting certain reactors. Land-based solar and wind farms can be commissioned quickly at low costs and at long-term fixed prices. This strategy would ensure that countries making this a priority would have greater energy independence and long-term price stabilization. With projects totalling 1,830 MW under development or construction in Europe and experienced development teams, Boralex is in an excellent position to contribute to the success of such a strategy and accelerate the implementation of solutions in regions affected by energy problems in Europe,' added Mr. Decostre
In the first quarter of 2022, Boralex produced 1,681 GWh (1,875 GWh) of power, up 3% (2%) over the 1,630 GWh (1,830 GWh) produced in the same quarter of 2021. For the three-month period ended March 31, 2022, revenues from energy sales and feedin premiums were $227 million ($248 million), up 10% (9%) from Q1-2021, while EBITDA(A) reached $173 million ($183 million), up 14% (13%) from Q1-2021, and operating income was $91 million ($105 million), up 18% (16%) from the same quarter in 2021. The increase in production stems from the commissioning of French wind farms, the increase in wind production in Canada and the increase in hydroelectric and solar generation in the United States resulting from favourable conditions. The increase in income, EBITDA(A) and operating income mainly stems from the accounting process used for higher energy sales income for sites benefiting from the feed-in premium due to high market prices in France. Given the structure of the feed-in premium contracts for operating farms, the Company is not required to reimburse the difference between the market price and reference price for the feed-in premium when the accumulation of the sums paid by the Company becomes equal to the accumulation of the sums received as a feed-in premium. The increase in production also accounts for a portion of the increase. For the three months ended March 31, 2022, Boralex posted net earnings of $57 million ($57 million) compared to net earnings of $40 million ($45 million) for the corresponding period in 2021. The net earnings attributable to Boralex shareholders were $50 million ($50 million) or $0.49 per share (basic and diluted), compared to $36 million ($41 million) or $0.34 ($0.39) per share (basic and diluted) for the corresponding period in 2021. The increase in net earnings is attributable to the increase in EBITDA(A).
On June 17, 2021, Boralex's management unveiled an updated strategic plan that will guide efforts to achieve its new corporate targets for 2025. Boralex's 2025 Strategic Plan is built around the four strategic directions of the plan launched in 2019-growth, diversification, customers, and optimization-and six corporate targets. The details of this plan, which also incorporates Boralex's CSR strategy, are included in the Company's Annual report. Highlights of the main achievements of the quarter ended March 31, 2022, in relation to the 2025 Strategic Plan can be found in the 2022 Interim Report 1 available in the Investors section of Boralex's website. In the coming quarters, Boralex will continue to work on its various initiatives under this plan, including project development and acquisition target analysis. To pursue its organic growth, the Company has a pipeline of projects at various stages of development defined on the basis of clearly identified criteria, totalling 3,591 MW in wind and solar projects and 177 MW in energy storage projects, as well as a 699 MW Growth Path in wind and solar projects and 3 MW in storage projects.
At Boralex, we have been providing affordable renewable energy accessible to everyone for over 30 years. As a leader in the Canadian market and France's largest independent producer of onshore wind power, we also have facilities in the United States and development projects in the United Kingdom. Over the past five years, our installed capacity has more than doubled to 2.5 GW. We are developing a portfolio of more than 3,5 GW in wind and solar projects and nearly 200 MW in storage projects, guided by our values and our corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach. Through profitable and sustainable growth, Boralex is actively participating in the fight against global warming. Thanks to our fearlessness, our discipline, our expertise and our diversity, we continue to be an industry leader. Boralex's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BLX
Certain statements contained in this release, including those related to results and performance for future periods, installed capacity targets, EBITDA(A) and discretionary cash flows, the Company's strategic plan, business model and growth strategy, organic growth and growth through mergers and acquisitions, obtaining an investment grade credit rating, payment of a quarterly dividend, the Company's financial targets, the partnership with Energir and Hydro-Quebec for the elaboration of three 400 MW projects for which the development will depend on Hydro-Quebec's changing needs, the portfolio of renewable energy projects, the Company's Growth Path and its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives are forward-looking statements based on current forecasts, as defined by securities legislation. Positive or negative verbs such as 'will,' 'would,' 'forecast,' 'anticipate,' 'expect,' 'plan,' 'project,' 'continue,' 'intend,' 'assess,' 'estimate' or 'believe,' or expressions such as 'toward,' 'about,' 'approximately,' 'to be of the opinion,' 'potential' or similar words or the negative thereof or other comparable terminology, are used to identify such statements. Forward-looking statements are based on major assumptions, including those about the Company's return on its projects, as projected by management with respect to wind and other factors, opportunities that may be available in the various sectors targeted for growth or diversification, assumptions made about EBITDA(A) margins, assumptions made about the sector realities and general economic conditions, competition, exchange rates as well as the availability of funding and partners. While the Company considers these factors and assumptions to be reasonable, based on the information currently available to the Company, they may prove to be inaccurate. Boralex wishes to clarify that, by their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and that its results, or the measures it adopts, could be significantly different from those indicated or underlying those statements, or could affect the degree to which a given forward-looking statement is achieved. The main factors that may result in any significant discrepancy between the Company's actual results and the forward-looking financial information or expectations expressed in forward-looking statements include the general impact of economic conditions, fluctuations in various currencies, fluctuations in energy prices, the Company's financing capacity, competition, changes in general market conditions, industry regulations, litigation and other regulatory issues related to projects in operation or under development, as well as other factors listed in the Company's filings with the various securities commissions. Unless otherwise specified by the Company, forward-looking statements do not take into account the effect that transactions, non-recurring items or other exceptional items announced or occurring after such statements have been made may have on the Company's activities. There is no guarantee that the results, performance or accomplishments, as expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, will materialize. Readers are therefore urged not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements
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