The first quarter of 2019 was characterised by surging sales prices, above-average water supply levels and additional strategic preparations for strengthening VERBUND’s renewable generation portfolio. The positive energy market climate and good operating environment lead to sharp increases in earnings and a considerable improvement in the Group’s key performance indicators. The upward trend was underpinned by the lower cost base and further reductions in the Group’s debt levels resulting from numerous measures implemented in the past. Strategically positioned as a producer of renewable, largely carbon-free electricity with a stable, regulated high-voltage grid and an innovative, customer-centric sales organisation, VERBUND benefits from a solid basis for future growth.
EBITDA increased by 28.9% to €348.0m in quarter 1/2019 and the Group result was up 46.5% on the previous year’s figure to €178.1m. Earnings benefitted significantly from the sharp rise in average sales prices resulting from higher prices on the futures and spot markets for wholesale electricity. The hydro coefficient for the run-of-river power plants came to 1.21, or 4 percentage points above the
prior-year figure and 21 percentage points above the long-term average. Another positive factor was the higher earnings contribution from the Grid segment and the good results achieved through the programmes implemented in recent years to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Revenue from flexibility products declined substantially compared with quarter 1/2018, mostly due to lower income from congestion Management.
Earnings outlook for 2019 adjusted
Based on expectations of average levels of own generation from hydropower and wind power in quarters
2–4/2019, EBITDA of between approximately €1,100m and €1,200m and a Group result of between approximately €470m and €540m in financial year 2019 are forecast. VERBUND is planning a dividend payout ratio of between 40% and 45% of the Group result for financial year 2019 after adjustment for non-recurring effects.