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Orsted H1 profit narrows despite booming offshore wind

Earnings for wind at sea soar by 18% but a rise in depreciation and lower gas prices pulls results lower

Soaring offshore wind earnings in the first half of 2019 at Danish utility Orsted were not able to compensate fully for the adverse effect of a steep decline in gas prices and an increase in depreciation, resulting in a narrower net profit.

The company’s revenue declined 12% during the first half compared to the year-earlier period to DKr33.68bn ($5.06bn), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 2% to DKr8.76bn.

But as depreciation rose 16% to DKr3.3bn during the first half of 2019, and the company made fewer of its lucrative divestments of stakes in offshore wind farms, it’s net profit went down by 6% to DKr3.67bn ($551m).

Higher project development costs also dented into profits, chief executive Henrik Poulsen said.

Nevertheless, the CEO said he was very pleased with the results as Orsted’s operational performance was positive and the company continues to expand its position as a global leader in green energy – boosting the “green” share of its generation to 82% from 71% in the year-earlier period.

Equinor and Orsted win New York 1.7GW offshore wind tender

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That share also was the most profitable, with earnings from offshore wind farms in operation jumping 18%, driven by the ramp-up of generation from new wind farms in operation.

“2019 has been a very good year for Orsted so far. Operating profit for the first half of the year amounted to DKr8.8bn, which was in line with our expectations and keeps us well on track to deliver on our full-year guidance of DKr15.5-16.5bn,” Poulsen said.

“We were selected as preferred bidder in the auctions in both New Jersey with our Ocean Wind project (1.1GW) and New York with the Sunrise Wind project (880MW) which we own in a JV with Eversource. Subject to final investment decisions, the wind farms are expected to be completed by 2024. “

“We are very pleased with these awards and are well on track to reach our ambition of 15GW offshore wind capacity by 2025 as we continue to pioneer the global offshore wind industry.”

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