Serbia’s state-owned energy company Elektroprivreda Srbije achieved a profit of RSD 34.5 billion (about EUR 294 million) in the first quarter of 2023. The firm lost almost RSD 30 billion (about EUR 256 million) in the same period of last year.
The financial result in the first quarter came in several times stronger than planned as net income reached RSD 34.5 billion (about EUR 294 million), EPS said and added that it demonstrates the improvement over the previous year.
According to the company, the good results are driven by increased production, income from the export of electricity and cost reduction.
Profit in the first three months of 2023 was the highest in the last five years
EPS said its profit in the first three months of 2023 was the highest in the last five years.
Net income is about 3.5 times higher than in the same period in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018, when it ranged between RSD 9 billion and RSD 10.5 billion (EUR 77 million and EUR 90 million), the statement adds.
Of note, EPS’s poor performance at the beginning of 2022 was a result of a serial breakdown in its coal and electricity production facilities that started toward the end of the previous year. It was forced to import a large amount of power in the middle of the energy crisis at high prices. The company posted a EUR 628 million loss for 2022.
However, Miroslav Tomašević replaced Milorad Grčić in March as acting director and the situation gradually improved. The company said in January that it was no longer dependent on electricity imports. In early April it announced that it earned EUR 55 million from electricity exports from the beginning of the year, right after director Tomašević said he has fulfilled his task in EPS.
Expenditures slashed RSD 20 billion more than planned
EPS now said its power plants produced 9.74 TWh in the first quarter or 17% than one year earlier.
Stable production, favorable hydrological conditions and good planning enabled it to sell surplus electricity on the market, so the profit from exports from January to March was EUR 51 million. In the same period of last year it had a negative balance.
The company also reported that in the first trimester of 2023 expenditures were about RSD 20 billion (EUR 171 million) lower than planned. Coal imports were RSD 8.4 billion (EUR 72 million) than anticipated, gas purchases cost RSD 3.4 billion (EUR 29 million) less, compared to RSD 1.5 billion (EUR 13 million) less for the purchase of liquid fuels than planned, EPS said.
Of note, the utility was recently transformed from a public enterprise into a closed joint stock company. The government remains the sole owner.