Scatec Solar swung from profit to loss last year

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The quarterly figures published today by Norwegian solar project developer Scatec Solar make for confusing reading, thanks to the company’s penchant for what it dubs ‘alternative performance measures’.

While pv magazine cannot state with absolute certainty, it appears Scatec is a real money-spinner for outside investors who come in on its generation assets, even if its own figures have gone from a NOK140 million ($15.5 million) profit at the end of 2018 to a NOK39 million loss three weeks ago.

The company reports a set of ‘proportionate financials’ to reflect the fact it usually does not retain 100% ownership of the generation projects its develops, builds and operates.

Profit and loss

Sticking solely with the consolidated figures published for the last three months of last year, and the full-year returns, Scatec appears to have booked a NOK12 million loss in Q4, up from a NOK11 million reverse in the previous three-month window and an about-turn on the NOK45 million profit it banked in the final three months of 2018. That will do little to dampen the spirits of the company’s fellow investors, who apparently banked NOK68 million profits in the last quarter, on top of NOK78 million in Q3 and NOK31 million in the same period a year earlier.

In full-year terms, Scatec suffered a NOK39 million loss as its co-investors banked NOK194 million.

Nevertheless, the corporate suits responsible for the latest quarterly update felt able to write repeatedly about “growth in revenues and profitability during 2019” so all appears to be well at Scatec HQ.

Projects

In fact, as the latest update reminded shareholders, the business felt confident enough to raise its generation capacity deployment ambition in September and is now aiming to have 4.5 GW of projects at least under construction before 2022 and to then shoot for a further 1.5 GW per year.

Although project finance debt rose NOK4.05 billion last year, as a result of an expansion in activity, the company’s total liabilities of NOK17.94 billion – NOK2.44 billion of them current – are outweighed by total assets of NOK21.68 billion.

Scatec claims to have a stake in 1,193 MW of operational solar capacity with a further 711 MW under construction, 568 MW in its backlog – meaning permits secured for a more-than-90% chance of completion – and 5,206 MW in its development pipeline. In all, operations in 16 countries are listed among that lot.