VERBUND in 1st Quarter 2000


VERBUND in 1st Quarter 2000: Above-average water regime - continued price pressure.

A comparison of the first quarter results of 2000 to that of last year must take into account that in 1999 the first step toward liberalizing the market was made by February 19th. Thus the conditions of a liberalized market did not apply over the whole comparative period. Moreover, the second step toward liberalizing also had to be made in the first quarter 2000.

The first three months of this year were characterized by an above-average water regime (hydro coefficient: 1.23), an increase of 22 percent in power sales (inc. power trade), and decreased sales revenue while the competitive pressure continued.

The sales revenue amounted to EUR 344.9 million. Compared to the first quarter of 1999 this is a minus of EUR 48.3 million or –12.3%.

As the spot market prices were higher, the production of our thermal power stations had to be given preference to spot transactions. This led to an increase of 61.4% in expenses for fuels to EUR 27 million.

Due to the continued tight cost management the controllable expense items were reduced even further. The personnel costs were reduced by 17.7% to EUR 78.8 million, operating and maintenance expenditures by 16.4% to EUR 11.6 million.

The operating result amounted to EUR 73.9 million in the first quarter of this year. It is thus EUR 19.8 million or 21.1% below the comparable value of 1999.

The financial result decreased by 16.8% to EUR –51.7 million, reflecting not cash-effective exchange losses due to the rates prevailing on the reporting date in the amount of EUR 14.5 million. The reason for the losses were the rises of the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc. The income before taxes decreased by 55.1% to EUR 22.2 million.

Despite the continued tight revenue situation an operating result amounting to about EUR 290 million seems achievable in financial year 2000 at present.