Tuesday 15 September 2020 3:39 pm

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust posts 'very strong' maiden returns

Green energy investment fund Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) today reported it had achieved “very strong” shareholder returns in its maiden set of results.

The fund, which first listed in December 2019, confirmed it was pursuing its full £3.8bn pipeline of wind and solar assets despite the impact of the coronavirus.

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The figures

By the end of June, six months after listing, ORIT reported shareholder returns of 12.2 per cent, with shares still trading north of the issue price.

The trust said that it would pay out a dividend of 1.06p for the period, in line with its target of a three per cent annual yield.

Since listing, it has put £203m towards the purchase of renewable energy assets, 59 per cent of the £350m raised when it floated.

Thus far, ORIT owns assets across three countries, with a combined generation capacity of 291 megawatts.

These include eight solar sites across the UK and one onshore wind site in Sweden. Subsequently, it purchased 14 solar sites in France.

Why it’s interesting

ORIT is part of the Octopus group of companies, a collection of firms operating across the financial services and energy supply industry. They include challenger energy brand Octopus in their number.

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At its IPO in December, ORIT smashed its own expectations, raising £100m more than the £250m that it had forecast.

Although the UK is its main market, with 30 to 40 per cent of its assets expected to be housed in this country, the trust is also looking to expand across mainland Europe and Australia.

Speaking to City A.M., it confirmed that it was looking at opportunities in Spain, Germany and Poland. 

It added it had submitted non-binding deals and had entered into exclusivity agreements on £1.4bn of the £3.8bn pipeline of assets.

ORIT’s co-head Matt Setchell said he was optimistic that a green recovery from the pandemic would present the trust with even more opportunities in the future.

“We are really positioned well to take advantage of that green recovery and grab opportunities as they pop up in each of the different markets we work in”, he said.

What ORIT said

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Chairman Phil Austin said: “The board remains confident that despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID crisis there continue to be many opportunities that are attractive to ORIT and consistent with its investment policy. 

“ORIT is currently pursuing a pipeline of £3.8bn and we are confident that the balance of IPO proceeds will be fully committed during the autumn.”