Home » At the company’s request – the federal government lifts the rescue package for Axpo – News

At the company’s request – the federal government lifts the rescue package for Axpo – News

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At the company’s request – the federal government lifts the rescue package for Axpo – News

The Federal Department of the Environment (Uvek) is canceling the rescue facility credit line for Axpo Holding AG. In autumn 2022, the federal government granted the company a credit line worth 4 billion francs. At the request of the holding company, the order will now be completely lifted as of December 1, 2023.

Legend: The headquarters of Axpo Holding AG in Baden AG. Keystone/MICHAEL BUHOLZER

The order was initially made as part of an emergency ordinance and was then transferred to the framework of the Federal Act on Financial Aid for System-Critical Electricity Companies (“rescue package”).

That’s why Axpo needs a rescue package

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In the fall of 2022, strong price increases on the European energy markets put Axpo in a bind. Because the suppliers had to deposit higher security deposits with the energy exchanges. Axpo therefore asked the Federal Council for temporary liquidity support.

Axpo has announced that it is no longer dependent on the credit line, according to the Uvek. Significant factors have changed since the decree was issued. The electricity company is now less susceptible to unexpected market upheavals.

Axpo never took advantage of the loan

In the fall of 2022, strong price increases on the European energy markets put Axpo in a bind. Because the suppliers had to deposit higher security deposits with the energy exchanges. Axpo therefore asked the Federal Council for temporary liquidity support. Axpo never used the credit line during this time, according to the Uvek.

Earnings significantly higher thanks to special factors

The energy company earned significantly more in the last financial year. This was primarily due to special financial effects following the turmoil on the energy markets in the previous year.

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Total output in the 2022/23 financial year ended at the end of September was 10.45 billion francs, slightly below the previous year’s figure of 10.55 billion. The prices for electricity and gas were significantly lower than in the record year 2021/22, as Axpo also announced.

Axpo is back on its own two feet – unanswered questions remain

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Brief assessment from SRF business editor Matthias Heim: “The largest Swiss energy company is now financially back on its own two feet, as the current business figures show. It is commendable that Axpo overcame the crisis without drawing on government credit. It is also undisputed that the energy crisis was an event of extraordinary dimensions for the electricity companies.

Nevertheless, the question still arises today as to why the liquid assets in Axpo’s coffers became so tight that the federal government had to step in financially. The energy crisis was just as challenging for the other energy companies. However, they mastered this phase without government help. That’s why the impression remains to this day that Axpo sailed too close to the wind, especially in the trading business. This business area tied up a lot of money at times – a peculiarity of the electricity market – and brought Axpo into difficulties in the first place. And it is precisely this trading business that is now once again giving Axpo brilliant profits.

It is only right that Axpo will still pay the federal government a total of over 130 million francs by the end of 2026 to provide the loan. But why the owners of Axpo, the cantons, were unable to raise the money during the crisis remains an open question to this day. That’s why politicians and supervisory authorities would do well not to simply go back to business as usual. Even if Axpo is out of the woods.”

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Meanwhile, its own electricity production – from nuclear power, hydropower and renewable energy sources – was higher than in the previous year. Despite impairments of power plant assets amounting to 598 million francs, the operating result EBIT was 4.19 billion after 1.75 billion in the previous year. The bottom line was a profit of 3.39 billion after 594 million.

In addition to the international customer business, strong operational performance, high availability of the power plants and expected financial effects due to market normalization contributed to the extraordinarily good result, it is summarized.

Deeper view

Adjusted, Axpo earned operationally 2.69 billion francs after 392 million in the previous year. According to the information, the largest contribution came from international customer and trading business. The adjusted figure does not take into account, among other things, the return on decommissioning and disposal funds.

A lower result is expected for the current 2023/24 financial year. The various financial effects that had a positive impact following the normalization of the markets in the reporting year would no longer be repeated. The increased electricity prices would also have a positive impact on the result from the 2024/25 financial year.

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