VERBUND: Adjustment of Earnings Outlook for 2014
The VERBUND AG Management today announced the adjustment of the earnings outlook for the financial year of 2014. Based on the current plans for 2014, VERBUND will attain an EBITDA of around €690 million (forecast up until now: €850 million) and group earnings of around €70 million (forecast up until now: €150 million). The planned dividends point towards an unchanged payout ratio of around 50% of the adjusted group earnings. The adjusted group earnings for 2014 amount to around €150 million.
The adjustment of the results outlook can be attributed to the following reasons:
The channel flow, which lies considerably under the long-standing average channel flow of 93%, means the expected plans for the entire average water supply for the whole of 2014 cannot be kept to. The negative effects resulting from the low channel flow cost 29 million euros in EBITDA and 16 million euros in group earnings. An average channel flow for the rest of 2014 will be adopted.
The continued difficult energy economic environment and the ongoing pressure on the European wholesale price index are a larger burden on the results than had been planned. The freely available electricity amounts have to therefore be reduced at lower spot market prices. Furthermore, the preliminary project costs for a wind farm in Romania and the net investment in the Albanian Enerji Ashta have been cancelled. The consequences of these measures cost the EBITDA 45 million euros and 41 million euros in group earnings.
- Consequences of the decision to close the thermal power plants
VERBUND has initiated shareholding revisions to improve on the results as well as a further ongoing drop in expenses from the implementation of the cost-reducing programme and the further focussing of investments.
The adjustment of the results outlook is a consequence of the entire European electricity market not working well and being marked by massive regulatory interference. The hefty over-subsidisation of the new renewable energy sources is exerting enormous pressure on the profitability of European energy suppliers. VERBUND manages these developments by restructuring the thermal power plant branch, through an internal cost-reducing programme and a focussing of the investment programme. Additionally, VERBUND is pushing forward its development of offers regarding energy-related services and innovative solutions for industry as well as households and business customers, in order to achieve long-term improvements in results.