UmweltBank is a specialised lender with total assets of €3.9bn, providing financing for renewable energy projects, as well as loans for new construction or the renovation of sustainable residential, community and commercial real estate.
UmweltBank’s (UBK’s) FY19 earnings (based on preliminary results) were broadly flat compared to the prior year and in line with our expectations, as higher earnings before admin expenses and taxes were largely offset by the increase in G&A costs (cost-income ratio of 39.2% vs 32.7% in FY18). High costs related to investments in IT infrastructure and the introduction of new products coupled with persistent market headwinds (low interest rates and weak wind capacity additions in Germany) suggest UBK’s earnings recovery is likely to occur after FY20 (company FY20 PBT guidance is €36m).
UBK’s focus on financing sustainable projects should continue to facilitate its long-term growth, with Germany’s ambitious target to generate >80% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050 (40% in 2018). While new wind capacity additions continue to be impaired by a number of roadblocks, additions in solar energy show persistent strength, with close to 4GW of new capacity in 2019 (vs 2.95GW in 2018). The trend towards sustainability, and persistent housing deficit, continues to shape the German real estate market, assisting UBK’s new lending volumes.