Foresight Solar Fund — Q2 NAV, trading and capital recycling update

Foresight Solar Fund (LSE: FSFL)

Last close As at 17/05/2024

GBP0.82

0.40 (0.49%)

Market capitalisation

472m

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Research: Investment Companies

Foresight Solar Fund — Q2 NAV, trading and capital recycling update

Foresight Solar Fund (FSFL) released a strong operational trading update, with production 2.8% ahead of budget, cash receipts of £52.3m, 42% higher year on year, and forward power sales supporting a 1.5x dividend cover forecast by the company for the next three years. FSFL’s Q2 NAV/share was down 4.3p (-3.4%) from Q1 at 119.9p, with 74% of this move due to 50bp rise in discount rate assumptions for UK assets to 7.5%. FSFL trades at an attractive 19% discount to NAV and 8% dividend yield, in our view.

Written by

Andrew Keen

MD - Head of Content, Energy & Resources, Industrials

Investment Companies

Foresight Solar Fund

Q2 NAV, trading and capital recycling update

Investment companies

Renewable energy infrastructure

10 August 2023

Price

97.0p

Market cap

£592m

NAV

£727m

NAV/share

119.9p

Discount to NAV

19.1%

Yield

8.0%

Ordinary shares in issue

610m

Code/ISN

FSFL/JE00BD3QJR55

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

Renewable Energy Infrastructure

52-week high/low

125p

96.1p

126.5p

95.6p

Gearing

Total debt/GAV at June 30

41.3%

Fund objective

Foresight Solar Fund’s (FSFL’s) investment objective is to provide investors with a sustainable and progressive quarterly dividend underpinned by investments in a geographically diverse portfolio of assets. FSFL aims to preserve and, where possible, enhance capital value. It acquires large-scale solar power plants, identifying solar opportunities in the UK and overseas markets (to 25% of gross asset value). FSFL can also invest in battery storage systems (BSS) up to a limit of 10% of gross asset value (GAV) and in solar or BSS assets in development stage up to a 5% of GAV.

Analysts

Andrew Keen

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

Harry Kilby

+44 (0)20 3077 5724

Foresight Solar Fund is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

Foresight Solar Fund (FSFL) released a strong operational trading update, with production 2.8% ahead of budget, cash receipts of £52.3m, 42% higher year on year, and forward power sales supporting a 1.5x dividend cover forecast by the company for the next three years. FSFL’s Q2 NAV/share was down 4.3p (-3.4%) from Q1 at 119.9p, with 74% of this move due to 50bp rise in discount rate assumptions for UK assets to 7.5%. FSFL trades at an attractive 19% discount to NAV and 8% dividend yield, in our view.

Q322

Q422

Q123

Q223

NAV (£m)

771.2

771.5

757.5

726.6

NAV per share (pence)

126.4

126.5

124.2

119.9

GAV(£m)

1,299.7

1,296.3

1,268.2

1,237.2

Source: FSFL data, Edison Investment Research. Year end is 31 December.

Electricity production for the global portfolio was 2.8% above budget in H123, helped by its geographic diversification. Higher-than-expected irradiation in the UK (6.2%) and Australia (6.8%) resulted in production up 4.3% and 3% against FSFL’s forecasts in those geographies, respectively. Spanish generation was 2.2% below expectations due to heavy rains and higher-than-expected temperatures. FSFL has continued to benefit from its prudent price exposure management. In the UK (which accounted for 84% of revenue), the average fixed price of £197/MWh compared with average spot prices of £108/MWh. FSFL expects contracted revenue to represent 90% of sales for 2023, 85% for 2024 and 75% for 2025.

FSFL announced it intends a phased divestment of 200MWp of its operational assets over the next 18 months, proceeds of which will be used to repay its existing revolving credit facility, fully fund its expected pipeline into 2025 and keep its buyback programme under review (FSFL announced it would double its £10m buyback programme to £20m, with buybacks adding 0.1p to NAV in Q2). FSFL’s growth pipeline includes moving ahead with its 50MW Lunahead two-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) and progressing its 50MW Clayfords two-hour BESS project. Total debt was £510.6m, 41.3% of GAV, well within the 50% limit. In August, FSFL secured a one-year extension to its revolving credit facility (maturity date now February 2026 and margins unchanged at 185195bp over SONIA).

FSFL’s June 30 NAV/share was 119.9p, down 4.3p (3.4%) from March 30. 3.2p of this move (74%) was due to 50bp rise in discount rate assumptions (levered rate assumption for UK assets was raised from 7% to 7.5%, other regions remained unchanged) reflecting rises in interest rates. Lower forward power price forecasts reduced NAV/share by 1.4p, offset by 0.9/share positive impact of lower tax payments under the UK generators levy. FSFL is trading at a 19% discount to NAV, and we believe that a higher interest rate environment is already more than reflected in its share price. FSFL represents an 8% yield and management has confidence in 1.5x dividend cover in the next three years, underpinned by forward power sales.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Foresight Solar Fund and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Foresight Solar Fund. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Foresight Solar Fund and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Foresight Solar Fund. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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