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NextEnergy Solar Fund makes hay as sun shines

NextEnergy generated 693Gw over the year, (enough to power Northampton and Portsmouth combined for an entire year), which was 9.1% above budget

solar panels
Portfolio has grown to be worth more than £1bn

Bright sunshine last summer and in February helped NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited (LON:NESF) produce more than its budgeted levels of electricity in the year to March.

NextEnergy generated 693Gw over the year, (enough to power Northampton and Portsmouth combined for an entire year), which was 9.1% above budget and 54% more than a year earlier.

The number of assets in the portfolio rose to 87 from 63.

Net asset value was 5.5% higher at 110.9p, while the gross value rose above £1bn for the first time.

Kevin Lyon, the chairman, said NESF is readying itself for the era of subsidy-free solar generation.

“We are targeting a total of between 100 and 150 MW in subsidy-free solar plants,” he said, adding that it will seek corporate PPAs [power price agreements] up to 15 years in duration or direct-wire agreements with off-takers.

“One of our strengths in the sector is our financial innovation. This year we issued preference shares, which have increased cashflow and have significantly enhanced returns for ordinary shareholders and provided financial stability for the future."

Profit before tax during the year was £70.6m (2018: £32.2m) with earnings per ordinary share of 12.37p (2018: 5.88p).

The dividend for the year was 6.65p and NESF expects to pay 6.87p in the current year, which gives a forward yield of 5.7% at 120.5p, a premium to asset value of 8.7%.

Quick facts: NextEnergy Solar Fund

Price: 121.5 GBX

LSE:NESF
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £709.1 m
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