It passed by as quietly as an electric car — so much so we almost missed it — and neither did green energy pioneer Ecotricity make a noise about its ongoing growth during its last financial year either.
Surprising, possibly, given that the Stroud-headquartered green energy pioneer and owner of the UK’s first electric car charging network is not known to be shy of the spotlight.
Ecotricity’s turnover grew by 15 per cent to £222.3 million, with its annual report stating this was due in no small part to its customer retention but also a growth in business customers.
‘2020 has been a year of significant growth in turnover for the renewable energy company. During 2020 turnover grew by 15 per cent to £222,312,555 (2019: £193,339,518),’ said Asif Rehmanwala, Ecotricity’s chief executive officer and the man who signed its annual report for the year ending 30 April 2020.
All of which marked another consecutive year of turnover growth for the business, which this year is also a sponsor of the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards – lending its weight to the Green Business of the Year category.
‘In aggregate business and domestic numbers remained steady year-on-year (2019: grew 1.4 per cent). Maintaining customer numbers has been a success in an extremely price competitive market.
‘This has been achieved by the supply business remaining true to its values as a ‘deep green’ energy supplier rather than competing on price.’
In fact, business customer supplies (gas and electric combined) grew year on year by 31 per cent to 868 GWh.
‘This growth was primarily due to increased sales focus on higher consumption business customers.
‘Business customer numbers grew by 48 per cent (2019: 19 per cent increase) in the year.’
The number of domestic customers remained static.
Gross profits decreased by 19.7 per cent to £28.8 million (2019: £35.9m).
The Five Valleys’ firm put this down to the change in customer mix and an ‘increase in costs associated with ensuring that the company’s customers are provided with deep green energy’.
Pre-tax losses were £6.6m, although it declared its financial position ‘remains strong’ with net assets at £14.8m and that 2020 showed a ‘good underlying trading performance’.
‘Despite a drop in gross and net profits margins, it has built a good platform against which to pursue further cost control, standing the company in a strong position for the year to come.’
The report also looked beyond the period to the end of April last year into the first half of the current financial year, stating its priority had been the safety and welfare of its staff and customers.
Despite which, ‘the company’s operating business has deteriorated only ‘slightly’ due to the covid-19 pandemic.
By Andrew Merrell
Monday 19 April 2021
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