VERBUND results for quarter 1/2015
Positive income trend despite continued challenging conditions
Q1 2015 shows a positive income trend for VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company, despite continued challenging conditions in the European energy sector. EBITDA increased by 5.2% to €217.8m, and the Group result rose by 54.9% year-on-year to €63.4m. The Outlook for the financial year 2015 has been confirmed: VERBUND expects EBITDA of approximately €770m and a Group result of approximately €180m.
Within the challenging environment of the European energy-sector, VERBUND systematically implemented the thermal power restructuring measures which had been decided upon in 2014. The sale of the French Pont-sur-Sambre and Toul combined cycle gas turbine power plants (CCGTs) and disposal of the equity interest in Sorgenia in Italy were both completed in quarter 1/2015.
The operating business was impacted by the above-average water supply in rivers in quarter 1/2015. At 1.03, the hydro coefficient was 3.0% above the long-term average and ten percentage points above the previous year’s figure. Generation from hydropower thus rose by 497 GWh. VERBUND’s total own generation reached 7,453 GWh in quarter 1/2015, an increase of 13.9% compared with the first quarter of the previous year. Despite the negative operating environment and lower average sales prices, VERBUND succeeded in increasing earnings. EBITDA increased by 5.2% to €217.8m, and the Group result rose by 54.9% year-on-year to €63.4m. The increase can be mainly attributed to the fact that losses are no longer being incurred from French thermal production now that the power plants have been sold.
By the end of 2014 VERBUND has streamlined the investment plans for the period 2015 - 2017 to €870m. The ongoing internal cost reduction and efficiency enhancement program are expected to result in cumulative savings of €165m by the end of 2015. The strong market approach and the expansion of customer-oriented services are continuing. The number of electricity customers amounted to around 333,000 for electricity from hydro-power and around 11,000 for carbon-neutral gas by the end of Q1.
Outlook for 2015 confirmed
On the basis of average own generation from hydropower, VERBUND expects EBITDA of approximately €770m and a Group result of approximately €180m in the financial year 2015. A payout ratio of around 50% of the Group result after adjustment for non-recurring effects is planned for 2015.