VERBUND results for quarters 1-3/2015


Sharp upward trend in income thanks to additional revenue from marketing flexible energy products and due to non-recurring effects

VERBUND, Austria's leading energy company and one of the largest producers of hydropower in Europe, was able to increase the EBITDA by 15.0 % to €727.7m. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, EBITDA decreased by 1.0 % to €681.2m. The Group result rose to €228.7m. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, the Group result increased over the prior-year comparison period to €245.2m. For the fiscal year 2015, the company anticipates in the second half of the year an EBITDA of about € 900 million and a consolidated Group result of about € 240 million on the basis of an average owned generation from hydropower. 

Conditions in the European electricity market remained difficult during quarters 1–3/2015. Low prices for primary energy sources and CO2 emission rights have led to a further decrease in wholesale prices on the futures market and have negatively impacted energy companies’ incomes. Moreover, the volatile nature of energy generation from power plants producing renewable energy means that greater flexibility is needed in grid operations. This situation also presents opportunities that VERBUND succeeded in taking advantage of during the reporting period to generate additional income by means of flexible products such as control power and balancing energy and by selling congestion management services.

Despite a further decline in sales prices, the performance of the operating business showed a clear upward trend in quarters 1–3/2015 due to the successful implementation of VERBUND’s strategy. The business trend was positively impacted by the Group’s measures to increase efficiency, which reduced personnel expenses and other operating expenses in particular, as well as its continued implementation of thermal restructuring. Now that the temporary injunction involving the outage reserve at the Mellach power plants site has been lifted, VERBUND is re-evaluating all possible options with respect to that site. 

The result was also influenced by non-recurring effects such as the impairment loss on the Mellach combined cycle gas turbine power plant and the reversal of provisions due to legal settlements in the Grid segment. The decrease in the water supply to well-below-average levels had a negative impact. The hydro coefficient declined to 0.94, 6.0% below the long-term average and five percentage points below the prior-year comparative. Generation from hydropower therefore fell by 1,263 GWh. Overall, VERBUND’s own generation amounted to 24,968 GWh in the first three quarters, representing a decrease of 2.9% compared with the prior-year period.

The aforementioned factors led to an increase in EBITDA of 15.0% to €727.7m. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, EBITDA decreased by 1.0% to €681.2m. The Group result rose by 258.2% to €228.7m. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, the Group result increased by 40.7% over the prior-year comparison period to €245.2m.

Outlook for 2015
Assuming an average own generation from hydropower in the fourth quarter, we expect EBITDA for financial year 2015 to be approximately €900m and the Group result to be approximately €240m. The planned payout ratio for 2015 will amount to around 50% of the Group result after adjustment for non-recurring effects.

About VERBUND VERBUND is Austria's leading energy company and one of the largest producers of energy from hydropower in Europe. The company produces more than ninety percent of its electricity from hydropower. In Austria, VERBUND has a market share of around 7 percent in the small customer segment, and the company leads in the industrial segment with around 20 percent.  VERBUND carries out trade in electricity in 12 countries and in 2014 attained an annual turnover of 2.8 billion euros, with around 3,000 employees.With subsidiary companies and partners, VERBUND is actively involved from the generation of energy to its transport all the way to international trade and distribution. Since 1988, VERBUND has been listed at the Vienna stock exchange, and the Republic of Austria has held 51% of its capital shares.
Further information:
Key figure Unit Q1-3/2014** Q1-3/2015 Change in %
Revenue* €m 2,088.7 2,106.5 0.9
EBITDA €m 633.0 727.7 15.0
Operating result €m 205.7 386.4 87.8
Group result €m 63.8 228.7 258.2
Earnings per share 0.18 0.66 258.2
EBIT margin* % 9.8 18.3
EBITDA margin* % 30.3 34.5
Cash flow from operating activities €m 612.2 581.6 -5.0
Free cash flow after dividends €m -133.6 393.6
Gearing % 76.1 68.9
* The comparative figures have been adjusted retrospectively in accordance with IAS 8. ** The calculation of the figures takes account of the profit after tax from discontinued operations (equates to the profit after tax attributable to the French companies Pont-sur-Sambre Power S.A.S. and Toul Power S.A.S., which were classified as “held for sale” until their deconsolidation in 2014).
Further information and the 1–3/2015 interim report can be found at > Investor Relations > Latest financial results.
Ingun Metelko Ingun Metelko

Company Spokesperson

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