VERBUND Quarters 1-3/2006: Market position strengthened in Austria and abroad

10/24/2006Wien

Operating result increased to € 646.0 million (+63.7 %) - group result raised to € 410.1 million (+48.9 %) - share performance improved (+26.6 %). VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company, impressively continued its successful business trend in quarters 1-3/2006. Sales, operating result and ratios displayed well above average growth once again confirming that the company is very well positioned in the European electricity market.

Sales revenue increased by 39.0 % to € 2,461.2 million compared to the previous year. The operating result rose by 63.7 % to € 646.0 million and the group result was up 48.9 % at € 410.1 million. The controlling group ratios of the VERBUND group were also improved: Net gearing was lowered from 99.9 % to 67.6 %, Economic Value Added was increased by € 155.3 million to € 311.8 million and the EBIT margin rose from 22.3 % to 26.2 %. With these ratios, VERBUND is one of the top players in the European utilities sector.

The positive result is attributable, above all, to the success in the electricity business and stable grid business. By expanding international distribution and trading volumes, VERBUND once again profited fully from the rising wholesale prices in the European electricity markets.

These successes also had a positive impact on the development of the share price. In quarter 3/2006, the VERBUND share achieved a performance of 1.5 %. The performance for quarters 1-3/2006 totalled 26.6 %. Hence, the ATX and the benchmark index Dow Jones Stoxx Utilities were once again outperformed. In 2004 and 2005, the VERBUND share was already the top performer of all utility stocks worldwide.

Foreign activities intensified

VERBUND continued to strengthen its position in the core markets Italy and France in quarter 3/2006. In September 2006, the VERBUND joint venture Sorgenia opened the 800 MW gas power plant Termoli in Southern Italy. This plant will generate approx. 4,700 GWh of electricity per year. The construction of a second 800 MW gas power plant in Modugno has already commenced. In France, VERBUND, topped up its existing 18.4 % interest in the electricity supplier Poweo through the acquisition of a 40 % stake in the production subsidiary Poweo Production in quarter 3/2006. The plans for the construction of the first 400 MW gas power plant in Pont sur Sambre are already well advanced.

VERBUND has also pursued its strategy in Austria in a consequent manner. The group aims to enhance vertical integration through the further expansion of its end-customer business in Austria and plans to sell approx. 20 % of own generation to end customers by 2010.

For fiscal 2006, VERBUND anticipates a 40 % increase in the operating result and group result compared to 2005.

Detailed information on the results for quarters 1-3/2006 can be found under http://www.verbund.at/. Here, you can also view a user-friendly online version of the Interim Report.