TORONTO, May 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Northland Power Inc. (“Northland” or the “Company”) (TSX: NPI) today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2022. All dollar amounts set out herein are in thousands of Canadian dollars, unless otherwise stated.
“We delivered strong first quarter results supported by improved performance and higher prices in the offshore wind segment coupled with stable performance across the remainder of our operating portfolio leading to a good start for the year,” said Mike Crawley, Northland’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to progress on our strategic priorities with construction activities at our New York onshore wind projects and Helios solar project in Colombia progressing as planned. Our team continues to advance our Hai Long offshore wind project towards achieving financial close, expected later this year and are diligently working on securing the necessary agreements and contracts. We also executed the sale of two of our efficient natural gas facilities in Ontario, Iroquois Falls and Kingston, resulting in a 24% reduction in our gas-fired generation capacity. The sale further supports our efforts to reduce Northland’s carbon intensity and repatriate capital to fund the growth of our renewable development projects around the globe.”
First Quarter Highlights
- Sales increased 13% to $695 million from $613 million in 2021 and Gross profit increased by 16% to $636 million from $549 million in 2021.
- Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure) increased 17% to $420 million from $360 million in 2021.
- Adjusted Free Cash Flow per share (a non-IFRS measure) increased 15% to $0.84 from $0.73 in 2021.
- Free Cash Flow per share (a non-IFRS measure) increased 17% to $0.77 from $0.66 in 2021.
- Net income increased 90% to $288 million from $151 million in 2021.
Sales, gross profit and net income, as reported under IFRS, include consolidated results of entities not wholly owned by Northland, whereas non-IFRS financial measures include Northland’s proportionate ownership interest.
|Summary of Consolidated Results|
|(in thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)||Three months ended March 31,|
|Net income (loss)||287,580||151,389|
|Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure)||420,149||359,804|
|Cash provided by operating activities||408,730||408,454|
|Adjusted Free Cash Flow (a non-IFRS measure)||191,985||147,289|
|Free Cash Flow (a non-IFRS measure)||174,375||134,448|
|Cash dividends paid||47,393||39,953|
|Total dividends declared(1)||$||68,496||$||60,740|
|Weighted average number of shares – basic (000s)||227,691||202,388|
|Net income (loss) – basic||$||0.99||$||0.49|
|Adjusted Free Cash Flow – basic (a non-IFRS measure)||$||0.84||$||0.73|
|Free Cash Flow – basic (a non-IFRS measure)||$||0.77||$||0.66|
|Total dividends declared||$||0.30||$||0.30|
|Electricity production in gigawatt hours (GWh)||2,923||2,582|
|(1) Represents total dividends paid to common shareholders including dividends in cash or in shares under the DRIP.|
Significant Events and Updates
Balance Sheet and Environmental, Social and Governance Advancements:
- Sale of Efficient Natural Gas Facilities – On April 7, 2022, Northland completed the sale of its Iroquois Falls and Kingston efficient natural gas facilities in Ontario, resulting in a 24% reduction in gas-fired generation capacity. The sale further supports efforts to reduce Northland’s carbon intensity and repatriate capital to fund the growth of our renewable development projects around the globe. The two facilities, with a combined operating capacity of 230MW, had operated under long-term power purchase agreements with the provincial system operator, which expired at the end of 2021 and 2017, respectively.
- At-The-Market Equity Program Established – On March 1, 2022, Northland established an at-the-market equity (“ATM program”) that allows Northland to issue up to $500 million of common shares from treasury, at Northland’s discretion. The program provides Northland with an additional source of financing flexibility to fund its growth initiatives. As at May 10, 2022, Northland issued a total of 3,844,500 common shares for gross proceeds of $159 million.
- Sustainability Report – Northland released its fifth annual Sustainability Report, titled “Together our Power is Boundless”, highlighting its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) achievements. The report is available at northlandpower.com.
- Northland Corporate Credit Rating Re-affirmed – In May 2022, Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed Northland’s corporate credit rating of BBB (Stable). In addition, Northland’s preferred share rating was reaffirmed on Standard & Poor’s Canada scale of BB+.
- Hai Long Offshore Wind Project Update – Progress continues at Hai Long in anticipation of achieving financial close later in the year. The project team continues to work diligently to secure agreements and contracts, including a corporate offtake agreement, on the project ahead of financial close. The recent inflationary and supply chain dynamics coupled with rising interest rates and volatility in foreign exchange rates have created an environment that requires close monitoring. As is normal business practice, Northland continues to monitor and is working diligently to manage these issues and their potential impacts on the project. The Company continues to believe that Taiwan is a top tier jurisdiction for offshore wind, and being a leader in this market developing the largest project, alongside its partners and establishing supply chain and strong government relations will benefit the Hai Long project and the sector over the long term.
- Onshore Renewable Projects – Construction activities at the two New York onshore wind projects is progressing as planned with the projects expected to complete all construction activities in 2022. The first turbines are expected to be delivered to Bluestone Wind in June and Ball Hill Wind in August 2022. At Northland’s Helios solar project in Colombia, construction and energization of the first phase of the project, encompassing 10MW, is complete. Construction on the second phase (6MW) has commenced with full commercial operations expected later in 2022.
- ScotWind Offshore Wind Project – On January 17, 2022, Northland announced that it was awarded two offshore wind leases in the Crown Estate Scotland auction with a total combined capacity of 2,340MW. The two leases, one fixed foundation (840MW) and one floating foundation (1,500MW), will extend Northland’s development runway into the next decade, with commercial operations expected at the end of 2029/2030 for the fixed and early 2030s for the floating.
- Nordsee Offshore Wind Cluster – In January 2022, Northland and its German partner, RWE Renewables GmbH (RWE), announced the formation of a 1,333MW Nordsee Offshore Wind Cluster partnership encompassing Nordsee Two (433MW), Nordsee Three (420MW) and Nordsee Delta (480MW). Northland holds a 49% interest in the new partnership, with RWE holding 51%. The projects are expected to be developed and managed on a joint basis by both parties and are expected to achieve commercial operations between 2026 and 2028.
First Quarter Results Summary
Offshore wind facilities
Electricity production increased 11% or 143GWh compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to higher wind resource and fewer uncompensated outages at the German facilities, partially offset by reduced turbine availability at Nordsee One due to the RSA replacement campaign.
Sales of $397 million increased 7% or $25 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to higher APX at Gemini and higher production across all facilities. The continued higher prices in Europe resulted in the APX exceeding the subsidy top-up for Gemini, allowing it to realize higher revenues in the quarter. Whereas foreign exchange rate fluctuations reduced sales by $29 million compared to the same quarter of 2021. Free Cash Flow is largely hedged and was therefore unaffected. The final APX income realized for 2022 will depend on average APX levels over the course of the year.
Adjusted EBITDA of $262 million increased 8% or $20 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to higher wind resource across all three facilities, higher APX at Gemini and fewer unpaid curtailments at the German facilities, partially offset by turbine availability losses at Nordsee One and foreign exchange rate fluctuations.
An important indicator for the offshore wind facilities is the historical average of the power production of each offshore wind facility, where available. The following table summarizes actual electricity production and the historical average, high and low for the applicable operating periods of each offshore facility:
|Three months ended March 31,||2022(1)||2021(1)||Historical
|Electricity production (GWh)|
|(1) Includes GWh produced and attributed to paid curtailments.|
|(2) Represents the average historical power production for the period since the commencement of commercial operation of the respective facility (2017 or Gemini and Nordsee One and 2020 for Deutsche Bucht) and excludes unpaid curtailments.|
Onshore renewable facilities
Electricity production was 82% or 292GWh higher than the same quarter of 2021 due to the contribution from the Spanish portfolio acquired in August 2021.
Sales of $128 million were 140% or $75 million higher than the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to the contribution from the Spanish portfolio.
Adjusted EBITDA of $100 million was higher than the same quarter of 2021. Excluding the contribution from the Spanish portfolio, production, sales and Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter would have been 10%, 4% and 5% higher, respectively, due to higher wind resource partially offset by heavier snowfall affecting solar facilities. Refer to Northland’s 2021 Annual Report for additional information on the Spanish portfolio.
Efficient natural gas facilities
Electricity production decreased 10% or 94GWh compared to the same quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of 2021 due to the effect of Kirkland Lake operating under the enhanced dispatch contract (EDC) compared to the baseload PPA until July 2021.
Sales and Adjusted EBITDA of $101 million and $56 million, respectively, decreased 16% or $20 million and 27% or $20 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 largely due to the expiry of the PPA at Iroquois Falls in December 2021.
Sales and Adjusted EBITDA of $65 million and $27 million, respectively, increased 14% or $8 million and 19% or $4 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 largely due to rate escalations positively affecting EBSA’s performance.
In December 2021, Northland restructured and upsized EBSA’s long-term, non-recourse financing (the “EBSA Facility”), resulting in $84 million of incremental cash proceeds to Northland, net of closing costs. The upfinancing was completed on the basis of growth in EBSA’s projected EBITDA growth for 2022, based on increases in the rate base. Net upsizing proceeds, in excess of EBSA’s expansionary capital expenditures, of $13 million are included in Free Cash Flow in the first quarter.
Statement of income (loss)
General and administrative (G&A) costs of $20 million in the first quarter increased 24% or $4 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to higher personnel and other costs in support of Northland’s global growth.
Development costs of $18 million in the first quarter increased 30% or $4 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily due to higher costs incurred to advance early- to mid-stage development projects and overhead costs, including personnel and other costs to support global growth.
Net finance costs of $82 million in the first quarter decreased 6% or $5 million compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily as a result of scheduled repayments on facility-level loans.
Fair value gain on derivative contracts was $128 million in the first quarter primarily due to net movements in the fair value of derivatives related to the commodity, interest rates and foreign exchange contracts.
Foreign exchange loss of $32 million in the first quarter primarily due to unrealized losses from fluctuations in the closing foreign exchange rates.
Net income of $288 million in the first quarter increased 90% or $136 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter of 2021 primarily as a result of the factors described above, partly offset by a $48 million higher total tax expense.
|Three months ended March 31,
|Net income (loss)||$||287,580||$||151,389|
|Finance costs, net||81,757||87,090|
|Gemini interest income||3,707||3,981|
|Share of joint venture project development costs||2,795||(755||)|
|Provision for (recovery of) income taxes||100,554||52,265|
|Depreciation of property, plant and equipment||147,415||145,300|
|Amortization of contracts and intangible assets||10,058||9,940|
|Fair value (gain) loss on derivative contracts||(133,445||)||(54,983||)|
|Foreign exchange (gain) loss||32,374||29,666|
|Elimination of non-controlling interests||(100,854||)||(94,502||)|
|Finance lease (lessor)||(1,664||)||(1,855||)|
Adjusted EBITDA of $420 million in the first quarter, increased 17% or $60 million compared to the same quarter of 2021. The significant factors increasing Adjusted EBITDA include:
- $63 million contribution from the Spanish portfolio of onshore wind and solar facilities;
- $14 million increase in operating results from the German facilities primarily due to higher wind resource, fewer periods of uncompensated outages and of negative prices, partially offset by reduced turbine availability at Nordsee One due to the RSA replacement campaign;
- $7 million increase in operating results at Gemini primarily due to higher wind resource and high APX; and
- $8 million increase in operating results at EBSA due to rate escalations and at Canadian wind facilities due to higher wind resource.
The factors partially offsetting the increase in Adjusted EBITDA include:
- $25 million decrease in operating results from Iroquois Falls due to the expiry of its PPA in December 2021; and
- $9 million increase in G&A costs and growth expenditures to support global growth.
Adjusted Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow
|Three months ended March 31,
|Cash provided by operating activities||$||408,730||$||408,454|
|Net change in non-cash working capital balances related to operations||15,362||(15,049||)|
|Non-expansionary capital expenditures||(12,830||)||(8,958||)|
|Restricted funding for major maintenance, debt and decommissioning reserves||(5,094||)||(1,533||)|
|Scheduled principal repayments on facility debt||(40,441||)||(33,810||)|
|Funds set aside (utilized) for scheduled principal repayments||(142,078||)||(131,669||)|
|Preferred share dividends||(2,700||)||(2,699||)|
|Consolidation of non-controlling interests||(46,448||)||(41,740||)|
|Proceeds under NER300 and warranty settlement at Nordsee One||17,712||7,766|
|Free Cash Flow||$||174,375||$||134,448|
|Add back: Growth expenditures||17,610||12,841|
|Adjusted Free Cash Flow||$||191,985||$||147,289|
|(1) Investment income primarily includes Gemini interest income.|
|(2) Other includes adjustments for Nordsee One interest on shareholder loans, equity accounting, acquisition costs and non-cash expenses adjusted in working capital excluded from Free Cash Flow in the period.|
Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $192 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, was 30% or $45 million higher than the same quarter of 2021.
The significant factors increasing Adjusted Free Cash Flow were:
- $36 million contribution from the Spanish portfolio of onshore wind and solar facilities;
- $13 million increase primarily from the net proceeds of the EBSA refinancing;
- $6 million decrease in net interest costs as a result of scheduled principal repayments on facility-level loans; and
- $7 million decrease due to timing of capital expenditures and of major maintenance performed at operating facilities compared to last year.
The factors partially offsetting the increase in Adjusted Free Cash Flow were:
- $18 million increase in current taxes primarily at the offshore wind facilities as a result of better operating results; and
- $3 million decrease in overall contribution across all facilities, excluding the Spanish portfolio, as described in Adjusted EBITDA, primarily due to the expiry of the Iroquois Falls PPA and higher project development and corporate costs to support growth.
Free Cash Flow, which includes all non-capitalized growth expenditures, amounted to $174 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, and was 30% or $40 million higher than the same quarter of 2021. The significant factors increasing Free Cash Flow were as described for Adjusted Free Cash Flow but include the $5 million increase in growth expenditures.
The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA to Adjusted Free Cash Flow.
|Three months ended March 31,
|Scheduled debt repayments||(147,701||)||(128,629||)|
|Income taxes paid||(56,384||)||(30,639||)|
|Non-expansionary capital expenditure||(10,919||)||(8,599||)|
|Utilization (funding) of maintenance and decommissioning reserves||(4,656||)||(1,073||)|
|Lease payments, including principal and interest||(3,007||)||(2,225||)|
|Foreign exchange hedge gain (loss)||15,162||2,444|
|Proceeds under NER300 and warranty settlement at Nordsee One||15,055||6,601|
|EBSA Refinancing proceeds, net of growth capital expenditures||12,824||—|
|Free Cash Flow||$||174,375||$||134,448|
|Add Back: Growth expenditures||17,610||12,841|
|Adjusted Free Cash Flow||$||191,985||$||147,289|
|(1) Other includes Gemini interest income and interest received on third-party loans to partners.|
Refer to Northland’s 2021 Annual Report for additional information on sources of liquidity in addition to Adjusted Free Cash Flow.
The 2021 sustainability report provides enhanced disclosures on Northland’s sustainability strategy including reporting additional metrics and information related to supply chain (including contractor health & safety, scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions and supplier management) as well as additional detail on human capital and talent development and engagement. The report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards core option and in alignment with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) recommendations, and the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This year’s report showcases the achievements that Northland has made on its ESG initiatives including:
- Northland renewables facilities have helped avoid 2.15 million tonnes of C0₂e
- 26% reduction in GHG emissions intensity from generation since 2019
- 24% reduction in gas-fired generation capacity
- Provided renewable energy to power over 1.7 million homes with renewable energy
To read the report in full, visit northlandpower.com
2022 Financial Outlook
As of May 10, 2022, management’s 2022 financial outlook remains unchanged from prior guidance. Adjusted EBITDA in 2022 is expected to be in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.25 billion, Adjusted Free Cash Flow per share in 2022 is expected to be in the range of $1.65 to $1.85 and Free Cash Flow per share in 2022 is expected to be in the range of $1.20 to $1.40.
Northland continues to have sufficient liquidity available to execute on its growth objectives. As at May 10, 2022, Northland had access to approximately $890 million of cash and liquidity, comprising $590 million of liquidity available under a syndicated revolving facility and $300 million of corporate cash on hand.
First-Quarter Earnings Conference Call
Northland will hold an earnings conference call on May 11, 2022, to discuss its 2022 first quarter results. The call will be hosted by Northland’s Senior Management, who will discuss the financial results and company developments as well as answering questions from analysts.
Conference call details are as follows:
Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 10:00 a.m. ET
Conference ID: 7157118
Toll free (North America): (833) 693-0550
Toll free (International): (661) 407-1589
The call will also be broadcast live on the internet, in listen-only mode and may be accessed on northlandpower.com. For those unable to attend the live call, an audio recording will be available on northlandpower.com on May 12, 2022.
Northland’s unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2022, and related Management’s Discussion and Analysis can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under Northland’s profile and on northlandpower.com.
Annual Meeting of Shareholders
Northland Power will hold its Annual Meeting of Shareholders (“Meeting”) on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 11 a.m. ET. Northland Power’s Annual meeting of shareholders will be held in a virtual-only meeting format. Shareholders will not be able to attend the meeting physically. Shareholders can attend the Meeting online, vote their shares electronically and submit questions during the Meeting, by visiting www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/NPI2022. Instructions are available at northlandpower.com/en/investor-centre/annual-general-meeting.aspx
ABOUT NORTHLAND POWER
Northland Power is a global power producer dedicated to helping the clean energy transition by producing electricity from clean renewable resources. Founded in 1987, Northland has a long history of developing, building, owning and operating clean and green power infrastructure assets and is a global leader in offshore wind. In addition, Northland owns and manages a diversified generation mix including onshore renewables, efficient natural gas energy, as well as supplying energy through a regulated utility.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with global offices in eight countries, Northland owns or has an economic interest in 3.0GW (net 2.6GW) of operating capacity. The Company also has a significant inventory of projects in construction and in various stages of development encompassing over 14GW of potential capacity.
Publicly traded since 1997, Northland’s common shares, Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3 preferred shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NPI, NPI.PR.A, NPI.PR.B and NPI.PR.C, respectively.
NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES
This press release includes references to the Company’s adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), Adjusted Free Cash Flow, Free Cash Flow and applicable payout ratios and per share amounts, measures not prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and therefore do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Non-IFRS financial measures are presented at Northland’s share of underlying operations. These measures should not be considered alternatives to net income (loss), cash flow from operating activities or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS. Rather, these measures are provided to complement IFRS measures in the analysis of Northland’s results of operations from management’s perspective. Management believes that Northland’s non-IFRS financial measures and applicable payout ratio and per share amounts are widely accepted and understood financial indicators used by investors and securities analysts to assess the performance of a company, including its ability to generate cash through operations.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”)that are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans. Readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Northland’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements may or may not transpire or occur. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “predicts,” “believes,” “estimates,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “forecasts” or negative versions thereof and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would” and “could.” These statements may include, without limitation, statements regarding future Adjusted EBITDA, Free Cash Flow and Adjusted Free Cash Flow, respective per share amounts, dividend payments and dividend payout ratios, guidance, the timing for the completion of construction, attainment of commercial operations, the potential for future production from project pipelines, cost and output of development projects, litigation claims, plans for raising capital, and the future operations, business, financial condition, financial results, priorities, ongoing objectives, strategies and the outlook of Northland and its subsidiaries. These statements are based upon certain material factors or assumptions that were applied in developing the forward-looking statements, including the design specifications of development projects, the provisions of contracts to which Northland or a subsidiary is a party, management’s current plans and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that are believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. Although these forward-looking statements are based upon management’s current reasonable expectations and assumptions, they are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Some of the factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with sales contracts, Northland’s reliance on the performance of its offshore wind facilities at Gemini, Nordsee One and Deutsche Bucht for approximately 50% of its Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow, counterparty risks, contractual operating performance, variability of sales from generating facilities powered by intermittent renewable resources, offshore wind concentration, natural gas and power market risks, operational risks, recovery of utility operating costs, Northland’s ability to resolve issues/delays with the relevant regulatory and/or government authorities, permitting, construction risks, project development risks, acquisition risks, financing risks, interest rate and refinancing risks, liquidity risk, credit rating risk, currency fluctuation risk, variability of cash flow and potential impact on dividends, taxation, natural events, environmental risks, health and worker safety risks, market compliance risk, government regulations and policy risks, utility rate regulation risks, international activities, reliance on information technology, labour relations, reputational risk, insurance risk, risks relating to co-ownership, bribery and corruption risk, legal contingencies, and the other factors described in the “Risks Factors” section of Northland’s 2021 Annual Information Form, which can be found at www.sedar.com under Northland’s profile and on Northland’s website at northlandpower.com. Northland’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur.
The forward-looking statements contained in this release are based on assumptions that were considered reasonable on May 10, 2022. Other than as specifically required by law, Northland undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after such date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Wassem Khalil, Senior Director, Investor Relations