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International PPL (INPP)

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Tuesday 23 November, 2021

International PPL

Portfolio Update: 1 June 2021 to 19 November 2021

RNS Number : 1960T
International Public Partnerships
23 November 2021
 

INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS LIMITED
PORTFOLIO UPDATE
FOR THE PERIOD 1 JUNE 2021 TO 19 NOVEMBER 2021

23 November 2021

International Public Partnerships Limited ('INPP', the 'Company'), the FTSE 250 listed investment company which invests in global public infrastructure projects and businesses, has today issued the following portfolio update for the period 1 June 2021 to 19 November 2021.

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

· The Company continues to achieve strong and sustainable performance from its investment portfolio of over 130 investments in public and social infrastructure projects and businesses with continued dividend growth

· During the period, the Company invested a total of c.£183 million into the offshore transmission ('OFTO') and transport sectors, including Rampion and Beatrice OFTOs and Angel Trains. The Company continues to benefit from a high-quality pipeline of near-term investment commitments

· In line with previous forecasts, a first half-year 2021 dividend of 3.68 pence per share was declared on 9 September 2021 supported by a solid H1 2021 cash dividend cover of 1.3x1

· During the period, the Company successfully completed an oversubscribed capital raising of £135 million, demonstrating strong demand from existing and new shareholders

· The Company has now delivered a Total Shareholder Return2 since IPO in November 2006 to 19 November 2021 of 239.3% or 8.5% on an annualised basis

· The Company launched its inaugural Sustainability Report reflecting its long-standing commitment to sustainability and the Company continues to align its disclosures with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-Related Disclosures ('TCFD')

PORTFOLIO REVIEW

The portfolio continues to deliver essential services to all its stakeholders, maintaining high levels of asset availability. The section below provides a brief update on key investments where there have been noteworthy developments since the Company's interim results, for the six months ending 30 June 2021, which were published on 9 September 2021.

Tideway, UK | SDGs 6, 9 & 11: Clean water and sanitation, industry, innovation and infrastructure and making sustainable cities and communities

 

Tideway is building a 25km 'super sewer' under the River Thames to create a healthier environment for London by cleaning up the city's greatest natural asset. As reported previously, in the earlier part of 2021 Tideway had been working with its stakeholders on a thorough review of the remaining activities to provide clarity on the schedule and costs to completion. This is a review that is commonly undertaken by major projects at this stage of delivery. The results of this review were published by Tideway in August 2021 and confirmed the appropriateness of the existing schedule dates with only a minor cost increase of c.1% with no material financial impact on investors.

 

The impact of Covid-19 on both the cost and schedule of the project was reported previously and it was noted that, in addition to existing contractual and regulatory safeguards, Tideway has been in discussions with Ofwat on a package of measures that would help mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19 on Tideway (the Company is a 16% shareholder in Tideway). In addition to the Covid-19 discussions, Tideway has also been in discussion with Ofwat regarding the adverse impact that extraordinary macroeconomic circumstances have had on Tideway's forecast revenues as a result of the workings of the Financing Cost Adjustment ('FCA') mechanism included within the licence (this mechanism is designed to mitigate the impact of changes in the market cost of debt on Tideway). Whilst constructive discussions with Ofwat are progressing and we will provide a further update at the appropriate time, the Company notes that such adverse impacts were largely reflected within the 30 June 2021 valuation. At the current date, the project is slightly more than 70% complete.

Diabolo, Belgium | SDG 11: Making sustainable cities and communities

Diabolo is a rail infrastructure investment which integrates Brussels Airport with Belgium's national rail network. The majority of revenues generated by Diabolo are linked to passenger use of either the rail link itself or the wider Belgian rail network. Diabolo has been impacted by the restrictions on international travel and national lockdowns that have been implemented as a result of Covid-19. As reported previously, in December 2020 the Company invested an additional €10 million and made a contingent commitment of a further €14 million in order to protect the value of the Company's investment in Diabolo. The €14 million commitment, which remains available, should provide sufficient liquidity for Diabolo provided passenger numbers recover in line with the latest forecast received from the Company's traffic advisors. The extent and timing of any further cash injections will depend upon the trajectory of this recovery. It is notable that the project benefits from a contractual mechanism which permits an adjustment to the passenger fee should passenger numbers and returns fall below a certain threshold; this mechanism provides the ability to influence revenues over the remaining 26 years of the concession and the Company has entered into initial discussions with Infrabel in respect of using the mechanism.

 

Cadent, UK | SDGs 7 & 9: Affordable and clean energy, and industry, innovation and infrastructure

Cadent is the UK's largest gas distribution network managing more than 130,000 kilometres of pipeline which transports gas to 11 million customers. The Company's investment in Cadent is the largest by investment fair value. As previously announced, in March 2021 Cadent exercised its right to appeal Ofgem's final determination in respect of the five-year regulatory period which commenced in April 2021 to the Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') as it believed this approach would best serve Cadent customers' interests. The CMA published its final determination in October 2021 and the findings will be modestly positive for the Company's valuation of its investment in Cadent, as the Company's 30 June 2021 valuation prudently assumed no benefit from the CMA appeal.

The publication of the UK Government's Hydrogen Strategy in August 2021 marks the beginning of the next stage of the development of the UK's hydrogen economy and is positive news for Cadent. In addition, HyNet North West, Cadent's innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project, was selected for a share of £1 billion government funding during the period. From 2025, HyNet will produce, store and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industrial businesses in the North West of England and North Wales, which is seen as a key pillar of the UK's Net Zero strategy.

INVESTMENT ACTIVITY

Since 1 July 2021 the Company has made new investments of c.£183 million in the OFTO and transport sectors.

· The Company reached financial close on its eighth and ninth OFTO projects increasing the Company's contribution to the UK's transition to a zero-carbon economy. These two OFTOs have the ability to transmit green electricity equivalent to the needs of approximately 800,000 homes, increasing the number of homes that could be powered via the Company's OFTO portfolio to approximately 2.1 million.

In July 2021, the Company reached financial close on its eighth OFTO, investing c.£50 million, for the long-term ownership and operation of the transmission link to the 588MW Beatrice offshore wind farm, off the Caithness coastline in Scotland; Scotland's largest offshore wind farm; and

In November 2021, the Company reached financial close on its ninth OFTO, investing c.£35 million for the long-term ownership and operation of the transmission link to the 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm off the Sussex coast.

· In September 2021, the Company acquired a further c.5% shareholding in Angel Trains providing it with further governance rights through direct board representation. The Company invested c.£98 million and the additional investment should, other things being equal, result in Angel Trains being the third largest holding in its portfolio. Since making its original acquisition in 2008, Angel Trains has been a successful investment for the Company, delivering both capital growth and yield. Angel Trains is the largest rolling stock company in the UK, serving the passenger rail sector with a diversified fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles. The majority of its vehicles are electric multiple units and its business plan supports the decarbonisation of the UK transport system.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The Company's investment portfolio valuation is determined semi-annually by the Directors after advice from the Investment Adviser and is reviewed by the Company's auditors. This semi-annual valuation is published within the Company's interim and annual accounts, the last of which was published with the Company's interim results for the six months ending 30 June 2021 on 9 September 2021, reporting:

· The net asset value ('NAV') per share was 145.1 pence as at 30 June 2021 (31 Dec 2020: 147.1 pence)

· The Company's underlying revenues continue to be underpinned by strong inflation-linkage with a projected increase in return of 0.75% p.a. for a 1.00% p.a. increase in inflation (31 December 2020: 0.78% p.a.)3. Strong inflation linkage continues to provide protection to the Company's projected returns in the event of a higher inflation environment

· A first half-year 2021 dividend of 3.78 pence per share was declared on 9 September 2021 and was paid on 17 November 2021. This dividend is in respect of the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 and represents a 2.7% increase on the dividend paid in the corresponding period in the prior year

· The Scrip Dividend Alternative Circular applicable to that dividend was available to investors and the associated scrip allotment or dividend payment was paid on 17 November 2021

· The Company is currently maintaining its previously announced dividend targets of 7.55 and 7.74 pence per share in respect of 2021 and 2022, respectively. This is in line with the current targeted annual increase of c.2.5%4

· As at 19 November 2021, the Company's £250 million revolving credit facility was £108 million net drawn.

INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT AND OUTLOOK

· The Company's investment portfolio is expected to continue to be resilient with risks being actively managed and mitigated

· The UK Autumn Budget announced the £130 billion National Infrastructure Strategy which will focus on low carbon schemes, social and transport sectors. We believe there will also be a need for private capital to support these ambitions and there is significant appetite from investors to support new infrastructure projects

· The Company is monitoring the emerging requirements of The EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and EU Taxonomy Regulation, and will support its investors with relevant disclosures in line with anticipated timelines for compliance

· The pipeline for the types of assets the Company invests in remains strong and the Company continues to remain confident in its ability to continue to source and develop quality, high-performing opportunities, across the Company's target geographies, that deliver long-term, predictable cash flows with strong inflation-linkage that meet the Company's risk-return profile

 

Notes to Editors:

While it is no longer a requirement under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules for the Company to issue Interim Management Statements, the Board believes it is in the interest of shareholders for the Company to provide quarterly updates in addition to its half year reports.

1.  Cash dividend payments to investors are paid from net operating cash flow before non-recurring operating costs.

2.  Source: Bloomberg. Share price appreciation plus dividends assumed to be reinvested.

3.  In aggregate, the weighted average return of the portfolio would be expected to increase by 0.75% per annum in response to a 1.00% per annum inflation increase over the currently assumed inflation rates across the whole portfolio. Based on analysis as at 30 June 2021.

4.  Dividend targets are targets and not profit forecasts and there can be no guarantee they will be achieved. Projections are based on the current individual asset financial models and may vary in the future. There can be no assurance that these targets will be met or that the Company will make any distributions at all. Whilst we generally have good forward-visibility of cash flows generated by the Company's investments, the current Covid-19 pandemic creates additional uncertainty

 

ENDS.

For further information:

Erica Sibree/Amy Edwards  +44 (0)20 7939 0558/0587

Amber Fund Management Limited 

 

Hugh Jonathan     +44 (0)20 7260 1263

Numis Securities 

 

Ed Berry/Mitch Barltrop   +44 (0) 20 3727 1046/1039
FTI Consulting

 

About International Public Partnerships (INPP):

INPP is a listed infrastructure investment company that invests in global public infrastructure projects and businesses, which meets societal and environmental needs, both now, and into the future.

INPP is a responsible, long-term investor in over 130 infrastructure projects and businesses. The portfolio consists of utility and transmission, transport, education, health, justice and digital infrastructure projects and businesses, in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America. INPP seeks to provide its shareholders with both a long-term yield and capital growth.

Amber Infrastructure Group ('Amber') is the Investment Adviser to INPP and consists of over 150 staff who are responsible for the management of, advice on and origination of infrastructure investments.

Visit the INPP website at www.internationalpublicpartnerships.com for more information.

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