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INTERVIEW - Slovenia’s Gen-I Group Sees 2011 Net Profit Up 12%, Eyes Slim Rise in 2012

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), November 8 (SeeNews) – Slovenian electricity trading and sales group Gen-I expects its consolidated net profit to rise 12% to 8.3 million euro ($11.4 million) in 2011 on 850 million euro in revenues, a senior company official said.

A slight increase in the group’s net profit is forecast for 2012, Dejan Paravan, member of the managing board in charge of electricity sales, told SeeNews in an emailed interview.

Paravan is scheduled to address the upcoming Energija11 international conference on transmission, distribution and electricity market organised by Slovenia’s PR Plus. SeeNews is among the media partners of the event taking place in Maribor on November 8-9.

The three main business activities of the Krsko-based Gen-I Group, which posted 652.8 million euro in revenues last year, are purchasing of electricity from power producers, power trading and selling electricity to end-users.

Abroad, the group has operations in Italy, Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo. It is the first Slovenian company to supply electricity to end-customers on foreign markets. In 2010, the group started supplying electricity to Italy, Austria and Croatia.

In line with its growth strategy, the GEN-I Group established two new subsidiaries in 2010, one in Austria and one in Italy, while the subsidiaries GEN-I Bucharest and GEN-I Sofia were licensed to operate on the internal markets in Romania and Bulgaria. Also in 2010, Gen-I Tirana, the group’s unit in Albania, secured a licence for a subsidiary to operate on the electricity market in Kosovo.

Paravan expects the supply of the whole group to end-customers in Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Italy to be 3.0 terawatthours this year. “In 2012 we expect an increase, especially on foreign markets.”

Gen-I currently supplies electricity to 30,000 households in Slovenia and Paravan is confident they can reach 50,000 in the next 12 months. “By the end of 2011, we expect to have a 4.0-5.0% market share in Slovenia.”

The group’s investments – mainly focused on IT solutions/platforms, on the one hand, and trading and sales infrastructure in different markets, on the other, are planned to increase in line with market growth.

Paravan affirmed a forecast made earlier this year that the parent company, Gen-I d.o.o., would purchase 170 gigawatthours of electricity from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration plants in Slovenia in 2011, up 20% on the year. “We are sticking to these forecasts although they will differ within individual areas due to a strong dependency on hydrologic conditions – hydro production is a bit lower since we are facing a very dry year.”

In 2010, electricity purchased from hydro power producers totalled 70,632 megawatthours.

In 2012, the company official expects an increase in the number of contracts from small producers who use renewable energy sources since this sector has been flourishing.

In the future, GEN-I d.o.o. will pay particular attention to solar power plants in the structure of its energy sources as it plans to raise the number of these power plants both by increasing purchases of the electricity they produce and by introducing new solar energy products.

“GEN-I is currently purchasing solar energy from 98 solar plants, and given the many new investments in solar production systems in Slovenia we expect growth in 2012. Apart from this, GEN-I has also taken steps in the direction of investing in production from solar power by acquiring a share in the company Enerve, which is specialised in managing solar projects,” Paravan said.

Earlier this year, Gen-I teamed up with Slovenian lender Banka Koper, insurer Generali and surge voltage protection systems provider Iskra Zascite to launch Baldur 4, a scheme that enables the implementation of solar power plant projects on a turn-key basis while providing the project developers access to soft-term financing and insurance coverage as well as to lucrative options for the sale of their future power output. Within the project, GEN-I is acting as a partner in the purchase of the electricity output.

($=0.7257 euro)

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