Wed, 18 May 2022

Central Puerto: 1Q2022

ACCESSWIRE
14 May 2022, 00:13 GMT+10

BUENOS AIRES / ACCESSWIRE / May 13, 2022 / Central Puerto S.A ('Central Puerto' or the 'Company') (NYSE:CEPU), one of the largest private sector power generation companies in Argentina, reports its consolidated financial results for the First Quarter 2022 ('First Quarter' or '1Q2022'), ended on March 31, 2022.

A conference call to discuss the results of the First Quarter 2021 will be held on May 13, 2022, at 11:00 AM Eastern Time (see details below). All information provided is presented on a consolidated basis, unless otherwise stated.

Financial statements as of and for the quarter ended on March 31, 2022, include the effects of the inflation adjustment, applying IAS 29. Accordingly, the financial statements have been stated in terms of the measuring unit current at the end of the reporting period, including the corresponding financial figures for previous periods informed for comparative purposes. Growth comparisons refer to the same period of the prior year, measured in the current unit at the end of the period, unless otherwise stated. Consequently, the information included in the Financial Statements for the quarter ended on March 31, 2021, are not comparable to the Financial Statements previously published by the company.

Definitions and terms used herein are provided in the Glossary at the end of this document. This release does not contain all the Company's financial information. As a result, investors should read this release in conjunction with Central Puerto's consolidated financial statements as of and for the quarter ended on March 31, 2022, and the notes thereto, which will be available on the Company's website.

A. 1Q2022 Highlights

Resolution SE N°238/2022

On April 21, 2022, the Secretariat of Energy issued Resolution SE No. 238/2022, which updates remuneration prices for energy and capacity of generation units not committed on a PPA (Energía Base). This resolution replaces Annex I to V of the former Resolution SE No. 440/2021 and eliminates section 4 of the Resolution SE No. 1037/2021, which provided for a temporary additional revenue to generators.

Resolution SE No. 238/2022 also removes the 'Use Factor' from the capacity payment calculation, improving revenue performance. Remuneration value increases 30% retroactively to February 2022 and provides for an additional 10% increase above the new values, which will become effective in June 2022.

Brigadier López Financial Trust

On April 5, 2022, the existing financial debt under the Brigadier Lopez Financial Trust, that was acquired together with the power plant, was cancelled. As of December 2021, the amounts due under this Trust were US$32.08 million. This financial debt accrued interest at an annual rate equal to the greater of (i) LIBOR plus 5% or (ii) 6.25%. The scheduled maturity of this indebtedness was August 2022 but was cancelled in April as a policy of liability management, reducing financial costs.

B. Market Overview

The table below sets forth key market data for 1Q2022, compared to 4Q2021 and 1Q2021:

Source: CAMMESA; company data.
1 EoP refers to 'End of Period'.

Installed Capacity: In 1Q2022, the installed capacity reached 42,871 MW, compared to 42,286 MW in 1Q2021, resulting in a 1.4% increase. The installed capacity from thermal´s sources decreased 0.2% from 25,315 MW in 1Q2021 to 25,274 MW in 1Q2022, while renewable´s capacity rose 14.3% to 5,008 MW in 1Q2022 compared to 4,382 MW in 1Q2021.

Between 1Q2022 and 1Q2021, installed capacity variation was 585 MW increasing the system´s capacity. For thermal sources, nearly 387 MW are related to new combined cycles (including Terminal 6 project) and 42 MW to diesel motors, partially offset by a decrease of 471 MW from gas turbines. There were no new projects for hydro or nuclear machines in this period. As for renewables, 627 MW were added to the system, where the two main sources were wind (301 MW) and solar (306 MW), among others.

During 1Q2022, there were 65.5 MW that reached COD, where almost 60 MW are represented by the CT Barker combined cycle, located in Buenos Aires.

As of 1Q2022, the installed capacity is divided in 59% thermal (decreasing 1 percentage point from 1Q2021), 25% hydro, 4% nuclear and 12% renewable (increasing 2 percentage point from 1Q2021). During March 2022, renewable energy reached the 14.0% of the installed capacity.

Generation: In 1Q2022, energy generation increased 1% to 35,719 GWh, compared to 35,332 GWh in the 1Q2021, mainly due to: (i) a 2% increase in thermal, (ii) a 37% increase in nuclear, (iii) a 24% increase in renewable, partially offset by: (i) a decrease of 26% in hydro.

Overall improvement was due to a higher demand. Thermal´s rise was due to the new capacity installed in the period and more dispatch of the existing turbines. In case of generation from nuclear´ s source, the increase was based in a greater production from Atucha I and II. In contrast, the drop in the hydro´s generation is related to the droughts that the region has experienced in past months and consequently, to the river´s lower flows which impacted the generation.

During 1Q2022, the main sources of energy generation continued to be thermal and hydro, with a share of 65% and 14%, respectively. Renewables continued to grow and reached a 14%, 3 percentage points more than 1Q2021. Thermal generation remained stable while hydro decreased 5 percentage points compared to the same quarter of 2021, as stated above.

Demand: In 1Q2022, energy demand increased 4% up to 34,520 GWh, compared to 33,087 GWh in the 1Q2021 where: (i) residential rose 5%, (ii) commercial grew 7% while industrial remain same levels as 1Q2021

The increase in commercial and residential´s segment in 1Q2022 is attributable to the recovery of the economic activity (particularly metallurgical, construction and automotive sectors) and lower restrictions related to COVID-19 compared to the same period of the previous year, while the variation in residential´s use was related to temperature.

As of 1Q2022 and in terms of demand structure, 45% is represented by residential users, 29% by commercial activity and the remaining 26% is related to great demand residential/commercial (decreasing 1 percentage point from 1Q2021, as explained above).

C. Central Puerto S.A.: Main operating metrics

The table below sets forth key operating metrics for 1Q2022, compared to 4Q2021 and 1Q2021:

Source: CAMMESA; company data.

1 EoP refers to 'End of Period'.

2 Availability weighted average by power capacity. Off-time due to scheduled maintenance agreed with CAMMESA is not considered in the ratio.

In the 1Q2022, energy generation increased 32% to 4,585 GWh, compared to 3,479 GWh in the 1Q2021. As a reference, domestic energy generation grew 1% in the 1Q2022, compared to the same period of 2021, according to data from CAMMESA. It is important to highlight that 1Q2021 was partially impacted by quarantine´s measures established by the government due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Increase in the energy generated by Central Puerto was due to:

  1. A 36% increase in energy generation from thermal units mainly from Terminal 6 due to high dispatch related to efficiency of this combined cycle and higher dispatch of Puerto´s steam turbines partially offset by certain unavailability of Lujan de Cuyo cogeneration and Puerto´s combined cycle.
  2. a 26% increase in energy generation from the hydro plant Piedra del Águila due to CAMMESA´s decision to increase dispatch regardless of the low inflow, reducing the dam level.
  3. a 14% increase in energy generation from renewable units due to better wind resource

During 1Q2022, machine availability for thermal units reached 84%, compared to 89% in the same period of 2021, due extraordinary maintenance in Lujan de Cuyo Cogeneration and some small failures in certain steam turbines. As a reference, the market average availability for thermal units for the same period was 76%, according to data from CAMMESA.

Steam production increased 76%, totaling 460,735 tons produced during 1Q2022, compared to 262,000 tons during the 1Q2021, due to the commissioning of Terminal 6 cogeneration plant and good performance of Lujan de Cuyo´s cogeneration plant.

D. Financials

Main financial magnitudes of continuing operations

See 'Disclaimer-Adjusted EBITDA' below for further information.

Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation

Key Macroeconomic Figures

1Q 2022 Results Analysis

Revenues increased to Ps. 17.2 billion in the 1Q2022, as compared to Ps. 15.8 billion in the 1Q2021. This 8.8% increase was mainly due to:

  1. an 7% increase in sales under contracts which totaled Ps. 9.0 billion in the 1Q2022 as compared to 8.4 billion in the 1Q2021, due to a higher generation of Terminal 6 due to higher dispatch of the combined cycle and wind plants despite a higher inflation´s adjustment over the peso´s depreciation in the period.
  2. an 8% increase in the Energía Base Sales, which totaled Ps. 7.0 billion in the 1Q2022 compared to the same period of 2021 due to a 17% production´s increase for higher dispatch of Puerto´s steam turbines and Resolution 238/2022 rise of 30% in tariff since February which was partially offset by inflation impact which was 55% over the last twelve months.
  3. an 93% increase in the Steam Sales, which totaled Ps. 0.8 billion in the 1Q2022 compared to the same period of 2021 due to a 76% production´s increase.

Operating income before other operating results, net, was Ps. 8.6 billion, compared to Ps. 6.5 billion in the 1Q2021. This 32% increase was due to:

  1. 9% increase in revenues as stated above.
  2. 6% decrease in the costs of sales that totaled Ps. 7.6 billion, compared to Ps. 8.0 billion in the 1Q2021, primarily driven by: (i) a 27% or 0.5 billion decrease in purchases of materials and spare parts which totaled Ps. 1.5 billion during the 1Q2022 and (ii) a 2% or 0.1 billion decrease in costs of production, which totaled Ps. 6.2 billion in the 1Q2022, mainly due to i) a decrease in operating costs
  3. a 19% decrease in administrative and selling expenses that totaled Ps. 1.0 billion in the 1Q2022, as compared to Ps. 1.2 billion in the 1Q2021, mainly due to a decrease in fees and compensation services and taxes and contributions.

Adjusted EBITDA was Ps. 15.7 billion in the 1Q2022, compared to Ps. 15.0 billion in the 1Q2021. This increase was mainly due to (i) the above-mentioned variations, partially offset by a 38% decrease in foreign exchange difference on operating assets, mainly related to trade receivables, that generated a Ps. 2.8 billion gain during the 1Q2022, compared to Ps. 4.4 billion of 1Q2021 due to a lower depreciation of the Argentine peso in the quarter and lower trade receivables balances. Furthermore, the positive result of 0.7 billion for insurance recovery which impacted positively the Adjusted EBITDA.

As a result, Adjusted EBITDA excluding FX difference and interests related to FONI trade receivables and Impairment on property, plant and equipment was Ps. 12.9 billion in the 1Q2022, compared to Ps. 10.2 billion in 1Q2021.

Consolidated net income was Ps. 4.8 billion and net income for shareholder was Ps. 4.8 billion or Ps. 3.18 per share or Ps. 31.82 per ADR, in the 1Q2022, compared to a Consolidated net income of Ps. 1 billion and net income for shareholder of Ps. 0.98 billion, respectively, or Ps. 0.65 per share or Ps. 6.53 per ADR, in the 1Q2021. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, net income was positively impacted by:

  1. higher financial income that amounted to Ps. 1.7 billion in the 1Q2022, compared to Ps. 0.6 billion in the 1Q2021, mainly due to a Ps. 1.4 billion gains on financial assets at fair value for the quarter.
  2. lower financial expenses which amounted to Ps. 4.7 billion during the 1Q2022, compared to Ps. 10.9 billion in the 1Q2021 as there were less foreign exchange difference, which decreased Ps. 3.7 billion, mainly due to a lower depreciation of the argentine peso during the quarter and a lower outstanding debt denominated in USD.

Additionally, the share of profit of associates was a Ps. 0.19 billion loss during the 1Q2022 compared to a loss of Ps. 0.41 billion in the 1Q2021.

FONI collections totaled Ps. 2.0 billion in the 1Q2022, -including VAT, associated to the FONI trade receivables for Vuelta de Obligado Plant, compared to Ps. 1.7 billion of 1Q2021. The amounts are being collected on time and according to the signed contract.

Financial Situation

As of March 31, 2022, the Company and its subsidiaries had Cash and Cash Equivalents of Ps. 0,3 billion, and Other Current Financial Assets of Ps. 25.9 billion.

The following chart breaks down the Net Debt position of Central Puerto (on a stand-alone basis) and its subsidiaries:

Cash Flows of the 3M 2022

Net cash provided by operating activities was Ps. 8.15 billion during the 3M2022. This cash flow arises from (i) Ps. 6.6 billion from the gross profit obtained during the 3M2022, (ii) Ps. 1.9 billion in net monetary position loss, and (iii) Ps. 0.8 billion in collection of interests from clients, including the ones from FONI, during the period, which was partially offset by (iv) a Ps. 2.8 billion non-cash foreign exchange difference on trade receivables, (v) a Ps. 3 billion inccrease in the stock of trade receivables, (vi) a Ps. 0.4 billion from income tax paid, and (viii) a Ps. 1.2 billion reduction in trade and other payables, other non-financial liabilities and liabilities from employee benefits.

Net cash used in investing activities was Ps. 6.0 billion in 3M2022. This amount was mainly due to (i) Ps. 5.8 billion applied to acquisition of other financial assets.

Net cash used in financing activities was Ps. 2.1 billion in the 3M2022. This amount was mainly the result of (i) Ps. 1.15 billion in loans paid, mainly related to the loans received for the expansion projects, and (ii) Ps. 1 billion in interest and financial expenses paid, mainly related to those loans.

D. Tables

a. Consolidated Statement of Income

b. Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

TABLE

c. Consolidiated Statement of Cash Flow

Financing Activities

E. Information about the Conference Call

There will be a conference call to discuss Central Puerto's First Quarter 2022 results on May 13, 2022, at 11.00 PM Eastern Time.

Event Link: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/2629/45557

The conference will be hosted by Mr. Fernando Bonnet, Chief Executive Officer, and Enrique Terraneo, Chief Operating Officer. To access the conference call, please dial:

Participants (Toll Free): +1-888-506-0062
International Participants: +1-973-528-0011
Participant Access Code: 323875

The Company will also host a live audio webcast of the conference call on the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.centralpuerto.com Please allow extra time prior to the call to visit the website and download any streaming media software that might be required to listen to the webcast. The call will be available for replay on the Company website under the Investor Relations section.

You may find additional information on the Company at:

Glossary

In this release, except where otherwise indicated or where the context otherwise requires:

  • 'BCRA' refers to Banco Central de la República Argentina, Argentina's Central Bank,
  • 'CAMMESA' refers to Compañía Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Eléctrico Sociedad Anónima;
  • 'COD' refers to Commercial Operation Date, the day in which a generation unit is authorized by CAMMESA (in Spanish, 'Habilitación Comercial') to sell electric energy through the grid under the applicable commercial conditions;
  • 'Ecogas' refers collectively to Distribuidora de Gas Cuyana ('DGCU'), Distribuidora de Gas del Centro ('DGCE'), and their controlling company Inversora de Gas del Centro ('IGCE');
  • 'Energía Base' (legacy energy) refers to the regulatory framework established under Resolution SE No. 95/13, as amended, currently regulated by Resolution SE No. 440;
  • 'FONINVEMEM' or 'FONI', refers to the Fondo para Inversiones Necesarias que Permitan Incrementar la Oferta de Energía Eléctrica en el Mercado Eléctrico Mayorista (the Fund for Investments Required to Increase the Electric Power Supply) and Similar Programs, including Central Vuelta de Obligado (CVO) Agreement;
  • 'p.p.', refers to percentage points;
  • 'PPA' refers to power purchase agreements.

Disclaimer

Rounding amounts and percentages: Certain amounts and percentages included in this release have been rounded for ease of presentation. Percentage figures included in this release have not in all cases been calculated on the basis of such rounded figures, but on the basis of such amounts prior to rounding. For this reason, certain percentage amounts in this release may vary from those obtained by performing the same calculations using the figures in the financial statements. In addition, certain other amounts that appear in this release may not sum due to rounding.

This release contains certain metrics, including information per share, operating information, and others, which do not have standardized meanings or standard methods of calculation and therefore such measures may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Such metrics have been included herein to provide readers with additional measures to evaluate the Company's performance; however, such measures are not reliable indicators of the future performance of the Company and future performance may not compare to the performance in previous periods.

OTHER INFORMATION

Central Puerto routinely posts important information for investors in the Investor Relations support section on its website, www.centralpuerto.com. From time to time, Central Puerto may use its website as a channel of distribution of material Company information. Accordingly, investors should monitor Central Puerto's Investor Support website, in addition to following the Company's press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls and webcasts. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the Company's website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this release.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS RELEVANT TO FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively referred to in this Earnings Release as 'forward-looking statements') that constitute forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The words ‘‘anticipate'', ‘‘believe'', ‘‘could'', ‘‘expect'', ‘‘should'', ‘‘plan'', ‘‘intend'', ‘‘will'', ‘‘estimate'' and ‘‘potential'', and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Statements regarding possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, financing plans, competitive position, industry environment, potential growth opportunities, the effects of future regulation and the effects of competition, expected power generation and capital expenditures plan, are examples of forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of factors and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, and contingencies, which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required under securities laws. Further information concerning risks and uncertainties associated with these forward-looking statements and the Company's business can be found in the Company's public disclosures filed on EDGAR (www.sec.gov )

Adjusted EBITDA

In this release, Adjusted EBITDA, a non-IFRS financial measure, is defined as net income for the year, plus finance expenses, minus finance income, minus share of the profit of associates, minus depreciation, and amortization, plus income tax expense, plus depreciation and amortization, minus net results of discontinued operations.

Adjusted EBITDA is believed to provide useful supplemental information to investors about the Company and its results. Adjusted EBITDA is among the measures used by the Company's management team to evaluate the financial and operating performance and make day-to-day financial and operating decisions. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA is frequently used by securities analysts, investors, and other parties to evaluate companies in the industry. Adjusted EBITDA is believed to be helpful to investors because it provides additional information about trends in the core operating performance prior to considering the impact of capital structure, depreciation, amortization, and taxation on the results.

Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with IFRS. Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, including:

  • Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, including cash requirements for, working capital needs or contractual commitments;
  • Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the finance expenses, or the cash requirements to service interest or principal payments on indebtedness, or interest income or other finance income;
  • Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect income tax expense or the cash requirements to pay income taxes;
  • although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated or amortized often will need to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for these replacements;
  • although share of the profit of associates is a non-cash charge, Adjusted EBITDA does not consider the potential collection of dividends; and
  • other companies may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

The Company compensates for the inherent limitations associated with using Adjusted EBITDA through disclosure of these limitations, presentation of the Company's consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS and reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable IFRS measure, net income. For a reconciliation of the net income to Adjusted EBITDA, see the tables included in this release.

Contact information:

Chief Financial Officer
Enrique Terraneo
Tel (+54 11) 4317 5000
www.centralpuerto.com
inversores@centralpuerto.com

SOURCE: Central Puerto S.A.



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