Eskom results show improvement in financial and operational performance for the first half of the year, although financial and operational challenges remain states South Africa’s power utility.
Key features for the interim results for the six months ended September 2020:
- Despite flat revenue, improved cost control resulted in an improvement in EBITDA to R28.1 billion
- COVID-19 has had a substantial negative impact on performance, with sales volumes down 10.3% year-on-year, negating the positive impact of a tariff increase of 8.76%
- Net profit after tax of R83 million was achieved while navigating a very challenging operating environment
- Net finance cost of R15.3 billion due to the unsustainable debt burden of R463.7 billion eroded operating profit
- Government support of R6 billion received in the period, with R56 billion committed for the 2021 financial year
- Operational performance steadily improving, with plant availability, as well as levels of planned and unplanned maintenance showing progress due to the Generation recovery plan
- Reliability maintenance programme in full swing – more than 15% of capacity under planned maintenance, equivalent to more than two large power stations
- Primary energy costs increases contained to a 4.4% increase to R54.3 billion in the period; compared to 13% in September 2019
- Eskom implemented loadshedding for 19 days during this period (from July to September 2020)
- Transmission network performance at expected levels, with Distribution network performance remaining stable
- Particulate emissions performance has improved significantly, with water usage levels remaining stable
- More environmental interventions under way to ensure compliance while balancing capital expenditure and operational availability
Group Chief Executive, André de Ruyter said that Eskom’s top priority remains to address operational and financial challenges and return to financial sustainability. “Given the challenging environment in which we operate, this will require extraordinary efforts from every Eskom employee, and continued support from government and all South Africans,” said De Ruyter.