Smart metering group slashes losses and moves into EV charging sector

Smart meters are being installed throughout the UK

Calisen, the Manchester-based smart meter group, reported increased revenues and a substantial narrowing of losses for the year to December 31, 2020, today.

It also confirmed it has moved into the field of electric vehicle charging points.

Turnover of £248.1m compared with £208.8m the previous year, and a pre-tax loss of £17.2m was a huge improveent on last year’s pre-tax loss of £82.2m, due to increased group operating profit, combined with reduced net finance expense.

Calisen owns the smart meters currently being rolled out in homes across Britain as part of the Government’s £13.4bn programme to help consumers keep better track of energy usage.

It leases its meters to utility companies that then fit them in homes. It receives a monthly rent for 10-15 years as long as the device remains in a property.

Calisen was acquired by US buyout group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in 2016 in a deal believed to be worth around £1bn.

Last December, it announced it had agreed a takeover deal with a consortium of funds worth £1.43bn less than a year after its £1.32bh flotation.

The group includes divisions of BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadal.

Chief executive, Bert Pijls, said: “I am pleased to report that our expected smart meter installation pipeline increased by 1.5 million meters in 2020.

“This brings our expected portfolio at the end of the roll-out to 13.2 million meters, compared to 11.7 million meters reported one year ago. Securing extra meter volumes in this way is testament to the great work of our team and our trusted collaboration with energy retailers.”

He added: “2020 was undoubtedly challenging but I’m pleased to say that the group ended the year in a stronger position than it had been in at its start.

“We succeeded in growing our smart meter pipeline by a further 1.5 million meters, meaning that our expected 2025 portfolio grew by 12.8%. We also increased the proportion of our meters which benefit from early removal protection, we refinanced approximately £1.1bn of existing meter funding facilities, achieving a lower cost of debt than the facilities they replaced, and we took our first steps into the adjacent asset class of EV charging points.

“In addition, in early December we announced the acquisition and, subject to completion, we look forward to making further progress under new ownership. Finally, in late December the UK and EU reached agreement on a zero tariff Trade and Cooperation Agreement which means no change to the economics of meter procurement from the Single Market of the EU.”

Looking forward, he said: “We have substantial embedded growth in our meter pipeline which has been contracted but not yet implemented and there are exciting longer-term opportunities internationally and in adjacent asset classes, most immediately in EV charging.

“In 2021, our focus for metering will, therefore, be on getting as many meters as possible installed as quickly as possible, while in adjacencies, we will focus on pilot schemes in EV charging to learn as much as we can about those assets and how they perform ahead of committing to any larger-scale projects.

“Overall, we remain well placed to achieve our purpose of accelerating the development of a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable energy segment.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...