Operating environment improving
Key figures from the interim financial statements
Hörður Arnarson, CEO:
“The company’s operating environment has improved substantially during the past few months, following a challenging period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our customers in the metal industry have increased their electricity usage over the past few months and most of them plan on fully utilising their contracts later this year. At the same time, demand for metals has improved to previous levels. The price of aluminium has increased by approximately 60% from pandemic lows, averaging USD 2,100 per ton during the first quarter and currently just under USD 2,500 per ton. Sales to data centres have also increased during recent months and are expected to reach record levels this year.
Simultaneously, electricity prices on European markets have been increasing. The average Nord Pool price was just over USD 50 per megawatt hour during the first quarter, compared to USD 13 per megawatt hour during last year. Landsvirkjun’s average electricity price to industrial customers increased by about 20% from the previous year, to USD 27 per megawatt hour, an all time high.
These changes in the operating environment are clearly reflected in the company’s performance during the first quarter. Profit before unrealised financial items, the criteria we use to assess the company’s operating performance, increased by 9% from the same period of the previous year. We continue to place great emphasis on paying down debt, with net debt decreasing by about USD 68m from the start of the year.
The operations of Landsvirkjun’s power stations went well during the period, as well as various projects like the innovation projects Orkídea in the south, Blámi on the Westfjords and Eimur in the north.”