Biomass boost as Drax revenue hits £3.68bn

North Yorkshire-based power company Drax Group said its 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 64% to £229 million — more than analysts were expecting — helped by improving earnings quality from its biomass generation.

Drax has converted three of its six power plant units in Yorkshire – once Europe’s most polluting coal-fired power station – to burn wood pellets.

Consolidated revenue for 2017 of £3.68 billion was £735 million greater than 2016.

Drax also announced a £50 million share buy back programme.

Drax said its statutory loss before tax of £183 million was “principally driven by unrealised losses related to foreign currency hedging of £156 million.”

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said: “We continued to transform the business in 2017, delivering a strong EBITDA performance, in line with expectations.

“This was delivered by all parts of the business making positive contributions for the first time.

“We also made good progress delivering our strategy, which is clear and unchanged.

“We are increasing biomass self-supply, developing projects to diversify our generation mix and growing our B2B energy supply business.

“The UK is undergoing an energy revolution, starting with a significant reduction in carbon emissions, and to support that we are helping to change the way energy is generated, supplied and used.”