Our EnBW 2025 strategy is increasingly placing the company’s focus onto the infrastructure aspects of existing energy-related business fields and exploiting new growth opportunities above and beyond the energy sector. Our integrated approach that positions the company along the entire value added chain of the energy industry has demonstrated its resilience in times of crisis. Organized in three segments, we want to further strengthen our profitability and continuously improve our sustainability performance at the same time. In 2022, we began implementing the EnBW Sustainability Agenda and made important progress in all 15 measures. The aim is to make the company climate neutral with respect to our own emissions by 2035.
The operating business developed overall at a Group level in 2022 better than expected and forecast at the start of the year: The adjusted EBITDA increased by 11.0% in comparison to the previous year. The result in the Smart Infrastructure for Customers segment was higher than the level in the previous year and the forecasted range, which was due to the positive earnings performance of our subsidiary SENEC and our B2B business at our subsidiaries. The adjusted EBITDA for the System Critical Infrastructure segment decreased, mainly due to higher expenses for the grid reserve including the redispatch to maintain the security of supply, and was thus slightly below our forecasted range. The result in the Sustainable Generation Infrastructure segment rose significantly and exceeded our forecasted range. While the adjusted EBITDA in the Renewable Energies area increased due to higher market prices, better wind conditions and the construction of new power plants, earnings in the Thermal Generation and Trading area increased due to higher market prices and positive earnings contributions from trading activities. The increase in non-operating EBITDA was primarily attributable to income from reversals of impairment losses on our conventional generation plants and from the reversal of provisions for onerous contracts. This was offset to some extent by higher non-operating expenses relating to nuclear power. In addition, the financial result fell. The Group net profit/loss attributable to the shareholders of EnBW AG increased from €363.2 million in 2021 by €1,374.8 million to €1,738.0 million in the reporting period. Earnings per share amounted to €6.42 in the 2022 financial year, compared to €1.34 in the previous year.
The financial position of the company remains sound. Solvency was ensured at all times thanks to the company’s available liquidity and its internal financing capability, as well as external sources available for financing. As of 31 December 2022, net debt had risen by €495.7 million compared to the figure posted at the end of 2021. This was mainly due to the high fills levels at the gas storage facilities – filled at increased procurement costs – and the higher collateral. As a result of the rise in retained cash flow and factors that lie outside the company’s influence, such as the rise in the interest rate for pension provisions, the debt repayment potential in the 2022 financial year was significantly higher than the target value of between 13.5% and 14.5%. The value spread fell to 1.1% due to the increase in capital costs and thus underperformed the forecasted range.
In the customers and society goal dimension, the Reputation Index for EnBW reached its highest score to date of 58 points in 2022. In a particularly challenging market environment with respect to energy prices, the Customer Satisfaction Index for EnBW customers increased significantly to a very good level. Yello was able to improve the already high satisfaction of its customers to an outstanding level. As in the previous year, supply reliability remained at a very good level in 2022. In the environment goal dimension, we continued with the expansion of renewable energies. The CO₂ intensity of our own electricity generation was almost at the same level as the previous year with a slight increase in the deployment of our coal power plants but also with higher generation from renewable power plants compared to the previous year. In the employees goal dimension, the People Engagement Index (PEI) remained at a very high level in comparison with other companies, while in the area of occupational safety, the key performance indicators for LTIF increased in comparison to the previous year.
Overall, business at the company developed positively in 2022 despite huge uncertainty on the markets and in the political arena. The figures underline the fact that our integrated approach that positions the company along the entire value added chain of the energy industry ensures economic stability even in difficult times.