Smart Metering in Columbia Threadneedle fund deal

Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems (SMS) said on Tuesday its 2019 revenue increased 16% to £114.3 million and profit before tax edged about 2% higher to £5.46 million.

SMS declared a dividend per share of 6.88p, up from 5.98p in 2018.

Smart Metering Systems also said it has signed a partnership agreement with the Columbia Threadneedle Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) to develop its pipeline of carbon reduction (CaRe) asset opportunities.

Last week, Smart Metering announced the conditional sale of “a minority of the group’s meter assets” to funds managed by Equitix Investment Management Limited for £291 million in cash.

Smart Metering said its 2019 total index-linked annualised recurring revenue (ILARR) increased 20% to £90.1 million.

Smart Metering Systems CEO Alan Foy said: “A 20% increase in our key financial metric – ILARR – and a 14% increase in EBITDA in extremely challenging markets, is a testimony to our market position and operational capabilities.

“Last week’s transaction will not only realise considerable cash returns and demonstrates the substantial value of our smart meter portfolio but also will enable us to enhance greatly shareholder value with a significant and sustainable increase in dividends. 

“The UK is the first major economy to adopt net zero emissions by 2050, mainly by electrification strategies.

“This will need the establishment of a decentralised and decarbonised energy system as well as substantial capital to meet that target.

“A combination of our strengthened balance sheet to support our smart meter rollout programme, todays’ partnership announcement with ESIF and our energy management division’s track record, positions us extremely well to accelerate and rapid expand our CaRe assets in the current and emerging electricity generation, storage, lighting, heating and transportation markets.”