JLEN Increases Dividend Target to 7.57p per share
Net Asset Value and dividend target
JLEN, the listed environmental infrastructure fund, is pleased to announce an unaudited Net Asset Value (“NAV”) of £814.6 million at 31 March 2023 (31 December 2022: £816.7 million). This results in a NAV per Ordinary Share of 123.1 pence (31 December 2022: 123.5 pence) after payment of the target quarterly dividend of 1.79 pence.
A dividend target of 7.57 pence has been set for the year to 31 March 2024, representing a 6% uplift from the year to 31 March 2023.
Summary of NAV drivers include:
NAV per share
NAV at 31 December 2022 123.5
Dividends paid in the period -1.8p
Power prices (net of Electricity Generator Levy movements) -0.2p
Discount rate changes 0.2p
Other movements (including actual performance) -0.5p
NAV at 31 March 2023 123.1
The portfolio benefits from a high degree of protection from short term price hedges as well as revenues from subsidies and long-term contracts that are not derived from power prices. As a result the portfolio has been resilient despite a reduction in near term electricity and gas price expectations. On an equivalent MWh basis across the electricity and gas generating assets, the portfolio is 75% fixed for Summer ’23 and 66% fixed for Winter ’23.
Once reflecting the compensating impact from the Electricity Generator Levy, downward power price forecasts have resulted in a reduction in NAV of 0.2 pence compared to 31 December 2022.
RPI inflation assumptions (being the key index referenced in subsidy and contractual mechanisms in JLEN’s portfolio) remain unchanged in the valuation at 6.5% for 2023, before reverting to 3% until 2030, dropping to 2.25% thereafter. Higher actual inflation over the first quarter of this calendar year has added 1.9 pence to the NAV.
Discount rates have been reviewed across the portfolio to ensure they remain in line with evidence of recent market transactions seen by the Investment Manager and assessment from JLEN’s independent valuation advisor, with no impact to the overall Weighted Average Discount Rate (“WADR”).
In addition to that market review, JLEN has also reduced the discount rate applied to its Cramlington Biomass facility. This is in recognition of the successful completion of several initiatives at the plant that further de-risk the investment.
The net effect of changes to discount rates is to increase the NAV by 0.2 pence compared to 31 December 2022.
Solid operational performance together with elevated revenues from power sales and RPI-linked cashflows underpinned a dividend cover of 1.51x for the year to 31 March 2023, in line with the guidance issued in the 2022 Annual Report.
The gas-to-grid Anaerobic Digestion portfolio and the solar portfolio generated energy in line with budget. The wind portfolio was 10% below generation budget as a result of poor wind resource during the year. The bioenergy assets were 11% below budget, with the main detractor being a maintenance outage at the Cramlington biomass facility for c. 12 weeks before returning successfully to full operations in February. In aggregate, the renewables portfolio was 5.8% below generation budget at c. 1.4 TWh.
The non-generating assets within the portfolio performed satisfactorily during the year, generating distributions broadly in line with expectations.
A total of five new investments were made during the course of the year, comprising the Rjukan aquaculture project, the glasshouse controlled environment project, two construction-ready battery storage assets and a development-stage green hydrogen project. Construction activity is ongoing at both Rjukan and the glasshouse, as well as the West Gourdie and Sandridge battery storage projects.
The Company also announces a final quarterly interim dividend of 1.79 pence per share for the period from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023.
Together with the interim dividends paid during the financial year to date of 5.35 pence per share, the Company will have paid total dividends of 7.14 pence per share in respect of the year ended 31 March 2023, in line with the dividend target set out in the 2022 Annual Report.
The Company also announces an increase in the target dividend for the upcoming financial year of 6% to 7.57 pence per share for the financial year to 31 March 2024.
Ex-dividend date – 1 June 2023
Record date – 2 June 2023
Payment date – 23 June 2023
Below is an interview with Foresight Group, the manager behind the Trust who talk us through the highlights from the recent financial results, an outlook including how the Trust sees opportunities despite the tricky environment
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