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WHAUP beat its targeted growth in 2023 with normalized profit of THB 1,587 million, rising 254% YoY, and the Board gave a greenlight to pay total dividends of 0.2525 baht/share. Spreading its wings to expand renewable energy portfolio to 1,000 MW

Bangkok – WHA Utilities & Power Plc (WHAUP) reported its impressive 2023 performance with total revenue and normalized share of profits amounting to THB 4,228 million and normalized profit amounting to THB 1,587 million. The Board of Directors approved a total annual dividend payment at 0.2525 baht per share, with the XD sign posted on 25 April 2024 and the dividend payment scheduled on 15 May 2024. WHAUP CEO Mr. Somkiat Masunthasuwun will speed up the investment in renewable energy, driving the power generation capacity to reach 1,000 MW this year. The company aims to achieve a total revenue and normalized share of profits to reach THB 30 billion for the five-year period (2024-2028), while maintaining the EBITDA margin at no less than 50%, with the five-year investment budget of THB 21.2 billion.

WHA Utilities & Power Public Company Limited (“WHAUP”) informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand about the 2023 earnings that the company recording total revenue and normalized share of profits of THB 4,228 million, surging 52% from the year before, and normalized net profit of THB 1,587 million, a 254% rise year-on-year. Meanwhile, net profit including foreign exchange effects, stood at THB 1,631 million, an increase of 259% year-on-year. Contributing to the higher normalized net profit was from rising normalized share of profits from the power business both from Small Power Producers (SPPs) which saw an increase in FT to reflect the cost of natural gas, and GHECO-One, the coal-fired power plant which recorded higher Availability Payment.

Mr. Somkiat Masunthasuwun, Chief Executive Officer of WHA Utilities & Power Plc (WHAUP), reveals that the utilities (water) business both in Thailand and overseas in 2023 continued to expand. The total volume of water sales and management, both domestic and overseas, exceeded 155 million cubic meters, rising 7% from 2022, as the volume of raw water and value-added water product sales surged.

In Vietnam, WHAUP recorded the total water sales volume, according to its shareholding equity, at 34 million cubic meters, representing 18% growth year-on-year. The growth was mainly driven by the rising water sales volume to the Duong River Project, which grew along with the expansion of service areas and an increase of water demand from existing and new customer groups. This eventually resulted in the lowering of share of losses from the Duong River Project to THB 8 million and the company anticipates beginning to realize the share of profits from this project in 2024.

In 2024, the Company has set target of reaching total volume of water sales and management of 178 million cubic meters, divided into 142 million cubic meters in Thailand, and 36 million cubic meters in Vietnam, to serve the expansion of all types of water services for new projects in new WHA industrial estates and outside. Moreover, the company will continue to move forward the investment in water ventures to support growth and strengthen business, with the use of new innovations and technologies such as the development of Smart Water Platform by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is also looking for new business opportunities such as environmental solutions.

For the Power Business, the company reported the normalized share of profits from the power business amounted to THB 1,424 million in 2023, rising 200% from the year before. This is primarily due to the normalized share of profits from SPP power business due to the FT rise, reflecting the natural gas cost, and this eventually drove up the margins from the electricity sales to industrial customers. While the share of profits from the GHECO-One coal-fired Power Plant went up following the hike of Availability Payment (AP) from the previous year.

Meanwhile, the solar rooftop business experienced ongoing growth in 2023. WHAUP signed additional Private Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) projects of 42 contracts, representing a total capacity of 50 MW. As a result, by the end of 2023, the company had Private Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) projects for solar rooftops with a total cumulative power generation capacity of 183 MW, of which 109 MW came from the projects that started commercial operations (COD). Resulting in a combined total of 733 MW of power purchase agreements across all types of power plants. Furthermore, WHAUP was selected by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to be the developer of Phase 1 of renewable energy with a Feed-in Tariff system for five solar farm projects, with a total installed capacity of 125 MW, according to the shareholding equity. It is planned to sign all the solar farm contracts within the first to the second quarter of this year.

For the strategy to drive power business in 2024, WHAUP is embracing investment in new innovations to build its sustainable growth, focusing on power projects both inside and outside WHA Group’s industrial estates, both locally and internationally, such as electric vehicle charging station, Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Platform, and the trading of Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC). Additionally, it is exploring investment opportunities in New S-Curve businesses such as Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and pursuing M&A deals to meet various customer needs.

This year the company aims to increase the signed capacity of all types of power plants to 1,000 MW, representing a growth of over 17% from the previous year, and this will include both renewable power plants in Thailand and overseas.

With the planned expansion for both utilities (water) and power businesses, WHAUP expects to achieve total revenue and normalized share of profits totaling THB 30 billion for the five-year period (2024-2028) and maintain the EBITDA margin at no less than 50%. The five-year investment budget is set aside at THB 21.2 billion.

From last year’s performance, the Board of Directors recently had a resolution to propose a 2023 total dividend payment of 0.2525 baht per share to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders’ approval. After deducting interim dividend payments at 0.060 baht per share, already paid, and the remaining dividends payments will be 0.1925 baht per share, with XD sign posted on 25 April 2024 and the dividend payments scheduled on 15 May 2024, respectively. This reflects the company’s strong financial status and steady cash flow from the operations.

WHAUP CEO states that the company emphasizes business sustainability. Last year, the company was selected as a “2023 Sustainable Stock” for four consecutive years by the Stock Exchange of Thailand and attained an AAA rating in SET ESG Ratings while receiving the Commended Sustainability Awards at the SET Awards 2023, reflecting its commitment to sustainable development practices across all dimensions from environmental, social, and economic to good governance (ESG).

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