Paweł Majewski, President of the PGNiG SA Management Board. Photo: PGNiG.

Source: PGNiG press release

In 2021, the PGNiG Group generated almost PLN 70bn in revenue, with PLN 15.6bn in EBITDA and PLN 6.0bn in net earnings. Compared with 2020, the Group recorded improvements across most of its key financial and operating metrics, driven largely by upstream operations.

‘The PGNiG Group’s results for 2021 demonstrate that even amid a hydrocarbon price turmoil and pan-European gas crisis, PGNiG is able not only to maintain stable operations, but also to improve its performance and consistently pursue its strategy, which creates the Group’s value and enhances the security of gas supplies,’ stressed Paweł Majewski, President of the PGNiG SA Management Board.

The Group’s financial performance was mainly driven by steep rises in the prices of hydrocarbons, especially natural gas, whose prices in Europe hit all-time highs. This boosted the Group’s revenue to a record-high level of PLN 69.96bn in 2021, up by an impressive 78% year on year from PLN 39.20bn. Concurrently, the Group’s operating expenses rose to PLN 58.40bn, from PLN 29.61bn, which represents a year-on-year increase of 97%. As a result, the Group’s EBITDA came in at PLN 15.59bn, up 20% on the year before (PLN 13.01bn). EBIT reached PLN 11.56bn, relative to PLN 9.59bn in the previous year (+21%). However, the Group’s net profit decreased by 18%, from PLN 7.34bn in 2020 to PLN 6.01bn in 2021.

The high prices of natural gas supported robust performance of the Exploration and Production segment, which posted a strong year-on-year revenue growth of over 240%. As a result, the segment’s share in the PGNiG Group’s EBITDA was as much as 87%, which means a considerable improvement on 2020, when upstream operations accounted for a 7% of the Group’s EBITDA. The situation looked different in the Trade and Storage segment, where gas procurement costs outpaced revenue from its sale. This pushed down the Group’s EBITDA in 2021 by over PLN 1.7bn, while a year earlier the Trade and Storage segment’s contribution to EBITDA was positive, at PLN 9.58bn. In 2021, solid EBITDA was earned by the Distribution and Generation segments. Their contribution to the Group’s EBITDA was 19% and 7%, respectively, compared with 17% and 7% in 2020.

‘In 2021, the Exploration and Production segment delivered strong results, not solely attributable to the high prices of gas. Last year, the PGNiG Group ramped up gas production by 19% and oil production by nearly 4%. The largest production gains were recorded on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, as a result of both organic growth and acquisitions, in particular the highly profitable purchase of interests in 21 licence areas held by INEOS E&P Norge. Norway is the priority direction of our further expansion, as envisaged by our strategy of diversifying import sources and becoming independent of gas supplies from Russia as the contract with Gazprom expires at the end of 2022,’ added Paweł Majewski. ‘The results of our operations in Norway prove that the PGNiG Group is able to effectively combine efforts to diversify its portfolio and achieve Poland’s energy independence with rapid expansion on foreign markets and strong financial performance,’ stressed the CEO of PGNiG SA.

Performance of the PGNiG Group by segment in 2021:

Exploration and Production

The segment reported a significant improvement of its financial and operating performance. Its revenue amounted to PLN 15.89bn vs PLN 4.61bn a year earlier, while EBITDA increased more than 15 times, from PLN 0.93bn in 2020 to PLN 13.53bn in 2021, largely on the rising prices of hydrocarbons, especially natural gas. The arithmetic average price of gas on the Day-Ahead Market of the Polish Power Exchange was more than five times higher last year than in 2020, standing at PLN 225 per MWh (+343%). The average price of crude oil rose 65% year on year, to PLN 273 per barrel of Brent crude.

The volume of gas and oil produced by the PGNiG Group increased, respectively, from 4.52 bcm to 5.39 bcm and from 1,324.1 thousand tonnes to 1,375.5 thousand tonnes year on year. The increase was largely attributable to the scale-up of the Group’s operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In 2021, PGNiG completed field development work on the Ærfugl deposit, brought on-stream the Gråsel and Duva fields and closed the acquisition of two further fields, Kvitebjørn and Valemona, as well as all production assets held by INEOS E&P Norge. As a result, the volume of the Group’s own production in Norway expanded by almost one billion cubic metres – to 1.42 bcm from 0.48 bcm in 2020.

The segment’s results were additionally supported by the reversal of an impairment loss on non-current assets, of PLN 1.05bn. A year earlier, the Group recognised an impairment loss of PLN 1.49bn, which reduced PGNiG’s operating profit.

Trade and Storage

In 2021, revenue of the Trade and Storage segment came in at PLN 59.95bn, an impressive year-on-year increase of 96%. At the same time, expenses also went up, from PLN 21.29bn in 2020 to PLN 61.86bn in 2021, an increase of as much as 191%. As a result, the segment posted a negative EBITDA of PLN -1.7bn.

The volume of gas sold outside the Group in 2021 amounted to 34.48 bcm, almost 9% more than in 2020, when the Group sold 31.64 bcm of the fuel. Sales volumes increased primarily due to household and corporate customers (excluding power, petrochemical and nitrogen plants) as well as sales on the Polish Power Exchange. Weather conditions played an important role, especially the unusually cold and long winter early in the year.

The increased demand for gas fuel in Poland caused PGNiG to raise its import volumes. In 2021, the Group purchased abroad 16.13 bcm of gas, up 9% year on year, relative to 14.79 bcm imported in 2020. The structure of imports did not change substantially from 2020, with gas transferred from across Poland’s eastern border accounting for 61% and LNG for over 24% of the total.

Distribution

Revenue recorded last year by the Distribution segment reached PLN 5.41bn, up 16% compared with 2020, when it amounted to PLN 4.68bn. EBITDA also improved – by 34%, rising from PLN 2.16bn in 2020 to PLN 2.89bn a year later.

The improvement was driven by an increase in the volume of distributed gas, up nearly 14% to 13.14 bcm, resulting from a range of factors, including a drop in the average annual temperature, down 1.3 degrees Celsius in 2021 relative to 2020, pushing up demand for gas used as a heating fuel. The segment’s revenue was also supported by a 3.6% rise in the distribution tariff, effective from the first quarter of 2021.

Generation

The Generation segment saw a revenue growth of 23%, from PLN 2.77bn in 2020 to PLN 3.42bn in 2021. EBITDA was up 22%, having risen to PLN 1.13bn, vs PLN 0.93bn the year before. An improvement was recorded in the segment’s revenue from the sale of both heat and electricity. The volume of heat sales in 2021 reached 41.17 PJ, compared with 38.94 PJ in 2020, an increase of just under 6%, driven primarily by the prevailing weather. Despite a decline in the segment’s electricity output of over 4%, from 3.64 TWh to 3.48 TWh, the segment saw an increase in revenue from its sale.