VERBUND Successful in the Free Market
VERBUND recorded an increase in sales volume to approx. 40,000 GWh in the year 2000, an increase by 20% versus 1999. It results primarily from exports, which accounted for no less than 41% of the total VERBUND sales volume and 37% of the sales.
At a total of approx. EUR 1,300 million the sales revenues were slightly higher than in the previous year (+1%).
Although the market had been liberalized to a high degree - VERBUND sold no less than 80 percent of its power production in the free market in 2000 – the operating result, amounting to approx. EUR 301 million, also remained more or less stable. However, the comparability to the previous year is limited due to a number of one-time effects. The operating result as adjusted by those extraordinary effects shows even an increase by 2.1%. This is primarily a result of the consistent restructuring measures and outstanding performance in sales and marketing and power trading.
At EUR 944 million the revenues from power sales in 2000 remained at the level of the previous year, although their composition changed. An increase of approx. 115% was achieved in international sales. Thus the volumes that were lost in Austria due to the second phase of liberalization were more than compensated in foreign countries. The revenues generated from power grid transactions, approx. EUR 298 million, are also similar to those of the previous year.
VERBUND significantly expanded distribution and trading on export markets in 2000. In addition to the already existing sales offices in Germany and Italy, yet another sales office, APT Polska; was opened in Poland.
Other operating income decreased by EUR 75 million compared with 1999. This is to be attributed to the positive one-time effects in the year 1999, i.e. reversal of provisions for onerous contracts for Illwerke and Nagymaros electricity purchase contracts.
In 2000, the average number of employees was 3,387 - a decrease of 6.5 % versus 1999. Payroll costs (excluding termination benefits and pensions) decreased by approx. EUR 26 million or 10 % in spite of the contractual 1.1% salary increase.
The group’s cost structure again improved considerably in 2000 – a result of the continued cost savings policy and the restructuring measures. VERBUND produced approx. 25,500 GWh from hydropower (+5% versus 1999), which corresponds to 91% percent of the total production. Thus VERBUND has become the leading low cost producer of “green” energy from hydropower.
The improved financial result, which increased by EUR 15.58 million, is to be attributed primarily to the increase in income from investments and the reduction of interest costs concerning the provisions for onerous contracts.
The earnings per VERBUND share amount to EUR 2.7. A dividend payment in the amount of EUR 1.2 per share will be proposed to the annual general meeting of shareholders.