Fastned grows charging revenues by 37% in 2020 amidst Corona pandemic
Fast charging company publishes 2020 annual report
Fastned, the European fast charging company, continued to grow in 2020 despite the global Corona pandemic, impacting travel and the demand for charging. Revenues related to charging increased by 37% to 6.3 million euro. Total revenues, including revenues from station construction as part of service concessions, amounted to 6.9 million euro. Operational EBITDA1 increased by 60% in 2020, to 0.9 million euro (compared to 0.5 million euro in 2019), supported by higher revenues and a higher gross margin.
Fastned continued to work towards its mission: to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. To this end, Fastned invests significantly in scalable fast-charging stations as well as a pipeline of new locations. This will allow the company to provide charging capacity to the exponentially growing number of electric vehicles over the coming decades.
Fastned expanded its fast charging network by opening 17 new stations including the first stations in Belgium and Switzerland - bringing the network up to 131 stations in total as of year end 2020. The capacity of the network further increased by installing new and faster chargers at existing stations. In 2020, to accommodate the growing number of EVs on the road, Fastned invested heavily to upgrade its existing network, bringing the total number of chargers to 456 as of year end 2020 (2019: 297), which brought the number of chargers to 3.5 on average per station (2019: 2.6). Fastned acquired 28 new locations, bringing this up to a total of 287 acquired locations (including existing stations). In 2020, Fastned became active in a 6th country, acquiring the rights to develop and build 9 highway stations in France. This was the first tender of separate fast charging stations along the French toll road network, with many more expected to come. As a result of continued investments into the expansion of the network and due to the impact of the Corona pandemic on charging demand, underlying company EBITDA (including expansion costs) was - as expected - still negative, at -3.8 million euro over 2020 (2019: -3.3 million euro).
In a year characterised by lockdowns and restrictions to mobility, the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market showed resilience, reaching record-high sales across Europe. The number of BEVs sold surged particularly in markets in which Fastned is most active, such as the Netherlands, where the number of BEVs on the road reached 173k and BEV sales were 21% of total car sales in 2020. In Germany, the number of BEVs reached 309k and a sales penetration of 7%. Fastned believes that once lockdown measures are lifted and BEVs are able to circulate without restrictions, a lot of potential market demand will be unlocked and as a consequence station utilisation will rise rapidly. As a result, accelerating station upgrades and the development of the network are key priorities to avoid station congestion and maximise usage.
On the back of market momentum and the foreseen increase in demand for fast charging, Fastned raised 150 million euro in gross proceeds through the issuance of depository receipts via an accelerated bookbuild in February 2021. The proceeds will be directed to the accelerated construction and development of the committed2 pipeline, accelerate the development of the potential3 pipeline and fund the capex for significant upcoming government related tenders, including in France and Germany. These investments will enable Fastned to further expand and enhance its network, while securing key locations in the company’s existing geographic footprint and beyond.
2020 Key Results:
- Revenue related to charging: 6.3 million euro (+37% vs. 2019)
- Volume: 11 GWh of renewable energy (+39% vs. 2019)
- 8.7 million kg of CO2 avoided
- Active customers Q4 2020: 53K (+25% vs. Q4 2019)
- 0.6 million charging sessions handled
- 55.2 million electric kilometers enabled
- Revenue related to charging grew by 37% from 2019 to 2020 despite Corona lock down measures significantly reducing traffic volumes, but supported by a strong increase in the number of registered BEVs across Fastned’s key markets: +64% in the Netherlands, +126% in Germany, +119% in the UK, +98% in Belgium and +51% in Switzerland.
- Q4 2020 time based utilisation of the network was also negatively affected by lockdown measures, averaging out at 7.6% (2019: 9.9%). Note that Fastned grew the number of chargers significantly in anticipation of post-Corona demand, which also reduces the average utilisation, but leaves ample room for further growth once lockdown measures are lifted.
- Station level economics remained positive amidst the pandemic, proving the resilience of the business case. Even at a still very low BEV adoption (c. 1.5% in Q4 2020 in Fastned’s key markets) and with Corona related lockdown restrictions reducing traffic volumes, the average station showed a 4.1% Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) based on Q4 2020 annualised revenues (6.6% in Q4 2019 and -2.8% in Q4 2018). Fastned expects this to continue to improve as a result of continued growth in BEV adoption resulting in higher station utilisation.
- Network operation costs per station increased from 30.8 to 34.3 thousand euro due to higher grid fees resulting from the increasing number of chargers being installed per location and larger grid connections being installed to accommodate anticipated charging demand growth. Network operation costs per charger slightly decreased. Despite this, the increase in revenues and significant operational leverage intrinsic in Fastned’s business model led to an increase in the operational EBITDA per station of 28% to 6.9 thousand euro; total operational EBITDA was up 60% YoY in 2020.
- Network expansion costs increased from 3.8 million euro to 4.7 million euro due to the increased activity in station construction, upgrading existing stations, new location acquisition and software development.
- A number of exceptional items (as used in calculating non-IFRS measures) were recorded in 2020 resulting in an exceptional loss of 75 thousand euro (2019: 3.1 million euro).
- Fastned reported an underlying net loss (excluding exceptional items) of 12.3 million euro versus 9.0 million euro in 2019. Fastned reported a total net loss of 12.4 million euro versus 12.0 million euro in 2019.
“We are still at Day One of an exponentially growing charging market. Today around 1% of cars in our markets are electric and Bloomberg New Energy Finance is expecting that before 2025 battery electric vehicles will outperform cars with internal combustion engines in every aspect. This sets the stage for a charging market that will grow for several decades to come. Fastned is unique in its experience and know-how as a result of being one of the very few companies in this industry with close to ten years of experience. Our recent 150 mln euro fundraise allows us to accelerate the expansion of our network and take a leading role in the establishment of the European charging industry.”
Fastned will publish its Q1 2021 trading update on 13 April. This will be followed by a webcast with a presentation on the 2020 annual figures & Q1 2021 trading update on the same day. Dial in details will be available on Fastned’s website.
Download the Fastned annual report 2020 here.
For non-IFRS measures definitions and reconciliation see page 50-51 of the annual report.
The committed pipeline is the pipeline of charging stations for which a land lease is issued and/or public permission has been issued or will be issued by an authority e.g. as a consequence of an award of a tender.
The potential pipeline is the pipeline of charging stations being targeted by Fastned, not yet subject to a land lease, public permission or tender award.
This press release contains information which qualifies as inside information within the meaning of Article 7(1) of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 (Market Abuse Regulation).
Fastned has been developing fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across Europe since 2012. Fastned’s mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. Based in Amsterdam, the company has built 134 fast charging stations in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland. Fastned is working on the expansion into France. The company specialises in developing and operating fast charging infrastructure where drivers can charge their electric vehicle with up to 300 km of range in 15 minutes before continuing their journey. Fastned has 70+ employees across 6 markets (the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Switzerland) and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (ticker AMS: FAST).