Rätia Energie with great importance for the regional economy
Annual General Meeting of Rätia Energie
During his speech in front of the shareholders, the Chairman Luzi Bärtsch pointed out the extremely difficult conditions, especially due to the greatest economic and financial crisis of the post-war era. The electricity branch belongs to those stable sectors «which encourage for the future», said Bärtsch. This sector is not so sensitive to changes in the short term. Even though it is affected by the economic crisis, since it involves some customers. According to Luzi Bärtsch this situation involves the electricity request, the harder financial conditions and the counterpart risk. However Rätia Energie is affected by the crisis only in a limited way. Thanks to a well-balanced production and customer portfolio, Rätia Energie is wellpositioned also for the next years as an international electricity company with activities in the certification and gas sector also for facing difficult times.
On this difficult background Rätia Energie managed to achieve the best result of its history. With a total operating revenue of CHF 1.971 billion the EBIT was of CHF 185 million and the Group profit of CHF 94 million. The excellent net income depends on the one side on the development of the international trade and on the other side on the consequent implementation of the growth strategy.
Luzi Bärtsch pointed out the quick development of Rätia Energie in the last years thanks to its internationalization. In this way also the importance of the company for the regional economy has increased: today Rätia Energie belongs to the 100 biggest companies of Switzerland concerning revenue, profit, and investments. In 2008 the added value created by the company was of about CHF 300 million, of which about CHF 190 million were used in the Canton of Graubünden. Rätia Energie contributes to the economical strength and to the quality of life in the Canton: in 2008 the Group has paid about CHF 50 million for various services and one million for sponsorship. In the last six years the company has invested about CHF 250 million only in the Canton of Graubünden.
The Swiss electricity market does not work
Luzi Bärtsch appealed to long-term general conditions in the energy policy which are reasonable: «We invest in plants and in grids in the long term. For this reason we must base ourselves on a reliable political context». The Chairman of the Board of Directors also underlined Rätia Energie's need to grow on an international level. The Swiss electricity market does not work, he stated. Tariffs which are against the market laws hindered the market and endangered future investments. The customer does not have any interest of changing with more regulations. For the moment the sale of energy on the Swiss market is not so attractive for Rätia Energie.
Rätia Energie is well-placed
The CEO Kurt Bobst underlined that Rätia Energie is well-placed to face the future. It has a qualified and motivated team, the strategic trend is well defined and the company can rely on a solid financial structure and on a great project portfolio. Also in 2009 - pointed out Bobst - Rätia Energie has started well. The operating income could be slightly lower than in 2008, while the profit could be on the same level of the previous year. Considering the low actual prices a further increase of the turnover is improbable. The currency fluctuations should influence less the result. Bobst explained that in the next 10 to 15 years Rätia Energie will invest in the key markets Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Central/Eastern Europe totally CHF 2.5 billion in plant projects - especially in hydropower and in wind farms.
Increase of the dividend
Moreover the General Meeting has confirmed an increase of the dividend as suggested by the Board of Directors. Rätia Energie will pay to its shareholders a dividend of CHF 7.00 (+ CHF 1.50) for every share or participation certificate. It is an increase of 27% compared to the previous year. The Chairman Luzi Bärtsch stated that in the mid-term Rätia Energie aims to a distribution rate between 30 and 35 percent. This rate is regularly compared with that of the other players in this sector. Rätia Energie uses one part of the profit for financing the projects which are part of the Group strategy and which present a high profitability. The remaining part is reserved to the shareholders in form of dividends.
Dr. Eduard Rikli new Chairman of the Board of Directors
The Annual General Meeting has elected as new member of the Board of Directors Dr. Eduard Rikli from 1. January 2010. Rikli will succeed the actual Chairman Luzi Bärtsch, which will retire at the end of 2009. In 2010 he reaches the age limits which are imposed for the RE member of the Board of Directors. Retiring some months before the expiry of the term of office, Bärtsch wants to permit a structured change in the company management, since in 2010 also other two members of the Board of Directors will reach the maximum age foreseen by the Group Statute.
At the end of the General Meeting Luzi Bärtsch was thanked by theVice Chairman Reto Mengiardi for its excellent work. The Rätia Energie Group has experienced a great development under the lead of Bärtsch: The personnel increased from 200 to more than 600 people. With more than CHF 800 million in investments for plants and concessions, the basis were laid for a sure electricity supply and for the future profitability of Rätia Energie.
Rätia Energie published its 2008 financial figures on 8. April 2009.
The full annual report in German, Italian and English is available for downloading from the Rätia Energie website (www.REpower.com).
25. August 2009: Information about the first-half results 2009
10. May 2010: Annual General Meeting in Pontresina
Rätia Energie (RE) is a company with international operations in the electricity sector which is headquartered in Poschiavo and has locations in Klosters, Ilanz, Samedan, Zurich, Milan, Menden and Prague. In 2008 RE sold about 12.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. The contract volume in the financial trading is over 18 billion kWh. The revenue amounted to 1.97 billion Swiss Francs. The most important markets are Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Central/Eastern Europe.
In its own power plants in the Canton of Graubünden (Switzerland) and in Italy, RE produced around 2,400 million kWh of electricity in 2008. The company also owns a stake in Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG and utilises the entire energy package of Grischelectra AG. As an international trader of electricity, RE is present on several European energy exchanges.
RE directly supplies over 50,000 customers with electrical energy and another 25,000 customers receive their energy indirectly through local resellers. In the Canton of Graubünden, RE supplies Engadin, Prättigau, the Rhine Valley and Surselva with electrical energy. In Italy the branch Dynameeting sells electricity and gas to small and medium-sized companies for about 760 million Swiss Francs. Also in Germany Rätia Energie supplies electricity to the first small and medium-sized companies.
At the end of 2008 the Group had 618 employees (plus 66 trainees in Switzerland and 400 agents in Italy); Rätia Energie offers about 450 jobs in the Canton of Graubünden.