Image: Bluefield.

Bluefield Solar Income Fund has posted strong results for the six months ending 31 December 2020, with net asset value (NAV) growing to £476.7 million.

This marked a £43.2 million jump from the first half of last year, with new project acquisitions, an oversubscribed share placing and the beginning of a broader focus on renewable expansion key highlights of the period.

With NAV up, NAV per share grew to 117.12p from 117.01p and the company’s dividend target for FY21 grew to 8.00p per share.

Compared with the six months to 31 December 2019, underlying earnings were down slightly to £18.7 million from £20.7 million. This was driven by lower generation – which was down by 6% – and lower power purchase agreement pricing – which was down by 8%.

Following this, the underlying earnings per share were down to 4.59p from 5.59p and the total return to shareholders -0.37% from 6.97%.

Bluefield highlighted its continued commitment to grow its assets, supported in the last six months of 2020 by the acquisition of a 64.2MWp UK solar portfolio in August for an initial cash consideration of £106.6 million.

It is also looking at new build capacity and complementary renewable technologies, a step announced in June that will see the company look to technologies like wind and storage to “best position ourselves to be a renewable income fund in the UK market,” as James Armstrong, managing partner of Bluefield Partners explained to Solar Power Portal last summer.

This strategy of expansion has already continued in 2021, with the acquisition of the 70MWp Bradenstoke solar farm in January.

Group chairman John Rennocks said Bluefield’s performance had “once again been highly pleasing”.

“The Board has been delighted with the services provided in relation to technical management of the company’s portfolio by Bluefield Services and Bluefield Operations during the extended period of the COVID-19 pandemic and I would also like to express our thanks to the Investment Adviser and all its staff for their exceptional effort supporting the company during this unprecedented period.”