VERBUND generated a satisafatory result in first-half 2000 despite the competitive pressure resulting from the liberalization and a massive drop in prices in the coordinated deliveries to the provindial companies. Austria’s biggest power group, at a market opening of nearly 80 percent by far most exposed to free competition compared to all other domestic 2000 and to stabilize its turnover at last year’s level.
This encouraging result goes primarily back to very good results in international business, the austerity program that has been followed through for years, and the above-average flow of water (hydraulicity coefficient 1.14 versus 1.10 in the reference period of 1999).
In the first half of fiscal 2000, the sales revenue amounted to 642.93 million EUR (-0.3 percent) (8,846.9 million ATS); the sales volume increased by 17 percent. Whereas domestic sales decreased by approximately 79 million EUR (1,087.1 million ATS), the international power business recorded a growth of approx. 69 million EUR (949.5 million ATS).
Expenses for power purchase and fuels increased by 3.9 percent to 179.7 million EUR (2,473.1 million ATS) because more caloric power was used due to higher price levels on the spot markets and more power was purchased due to intensified power trading.
The program for consistently reducing payroll costs was again followed strictly. The average number of employees in the group amounted to 3,550 in the first six months, a reduction of 267 persons (-7 percent) compared to last year’s reference period. Thus personnel expenses were again reduced considerably, namely by 8.1 percent to 185.32 million EUR (2,550.1 million ATS). In addition to provisions for the current early-retirement scheme, personnel expenses include the extra cost caused by raising the legal retiring age in the amount of 40.7 million EUR (560.0 million ATS).
As a result of the measures taken, the operating result of VERBUND was improved so as to exceed last year’s comparable value by four percent, reaching the level of 146.87 million EUR (2,021.0 million ATS).
Non-cash effective, reporting date-related exchange losses manifest themselves in a financial strain of 30 million EUR (412.8 million ATS). On the whole, the financial result was only 3.4 percent lower, namely –85.51 million EUR (-1,176.6 million ATS).
Pre-tax profits increased by 4.8 percent to 61.36 million EUR (844.3 million ATS), after-tax profits by 5.9 percent to 43.04 million EUR (592.2 million ATS). The operational cash flow amounted to 167.6 million EUR (2,306.2 million ATS) in the first six months of the current business year, amounting to 61.2 percent of the cash flow of the whole of 1999.