Gresham House records boost in profits despite ‘one of the most challenging years’

Gresham House acquires another 50MW battery project for £32.75m

Gresham House – which manages funds including Gresham House Energy Storage Fund – has recorded a net core income of £40.8 million and an adjusted operating profit of £12.1 million.

These were up 29% and 17% from 2019 respectively despite chairman Anthony Townsend describing 2020 in the company’s full year results as being “one of the most challenging years we have seen” due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting global populations and economies “on an unprecedented scale”.

Even with the backdrop of the pandemic, Gresham House saw a “busy and productive year”, with its assets under management increasing by 42% to £4.0 billion.

When it comes to Gresham House Energy Storage Fund specifically, the fund was praised for the £150 million it raised in the year. It was able to supply 100MW of utility scale battery storage projects from its pipeline, with the proceeds of the fundraising to be used to finance a c.485MW pipeline of energy storage projects.

The Group detailed how its new pipeline will help meet the need for more energy storage as a result of the additional renewable generation capacity being brought online, adding that it is also investing in unsubsidised renewable energy assets with plans to launch a renewable energy fund for institutional clients in this area.

In the year, the Group also increased its investment in Gresham House DevCo Projects, which totaled £5.9 million at the end of 2020 and are in the exclusive pipeline for Gresham House Energy Storage Fund to purchase once operational, which is currently slated for 2021 and 2022.

The Group outlined how it invested £5 million in Gresham House Energy Storage Fund at IPO to ensure it reached £100 million in size, with the fund having successfully raised further capital to continue growth. At the end of 2020, the Group reduced its direct investment by £2.5 million as it looks to deploy capital for new initiatives around the Group.

Gresham House is also on track to maintain Returns on Invested Capital (ROIC) of 15% through the use of its balance sheet in the medium term. In 2020, this was evidenced by balance sheet investments in battery storage projects through Gresham House Devco Limited and its subsequent sales to Gresham House Energy Storage Fund, the company said, with projects including the 50MW Wickham battery and the 49MW Red Scar battery being acquired from a vehicle owned by Gresham House DevCo and Noriker Power.

Gresham House acquired a 5% stake in Noriker Power in 2019, with the Group stating in its 2020 full year results that the investment was acquired for alignment due to Noriker developing battery storage projects which are part of the pipeline of projects to be acquired by Gresham House Energy Storage Fund once operational. In 2020, the Group’s share of Noriker’s profits came in at £326,000, up from £187,000 in 2019.

Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House, stated that the growth within “each of the asset classes at Gresham House reflects the quality of our investment teams and client demand for these specialist areas”, adding the company is starting the new year with “positive momentum despite the ongoing macroeconomic and social challenges”.

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