Compared to 2009, sales dropped by 5.0 % to 3,307.9 million €, the EBITDA fell by 15.4 %, the operating result sank by 20.5 % to 828.5 million €, and the group result was reduced by 37.8 % to 400.8 million €. The controlling group ratios developed as follows: The EBIT margin sank from 29.9 % to 25.0 %, the gearing saw an improvement from 140.4 % to 96.8 %, and the operating cash flow de-creased from 968.0 € to 778.2 million €.
A dividend of 0.55 €/share will be proposed at the annual shareholder’s meeting on 13 April 2011. The proposed dividend therewith continues to be oriented on a dividend payout ratio of 45 to 50 % and amounts to 47.7 % for 2010.
|Operating result (EBIT)||€ million|
|Group result||€ million|
|Operating cash flow||€ million|
|(Proposed) dividend per share 2||€|
*The key figure has been revised. Previous year figures have been adjusted.
**2009 dividend included a special dividend of 0,25 € per share
Water Supply, Wholesale Prices and One-Off Effects Put a Strain on the Result
The weaker water supply from rivers, in comparison to 2009, has had a negative impact on the results since VERBUND generates some 90 % of the electricity in Austria from hydro power. Although, at 0.99, the hydro coefficient only lay at 1.0 % under the long term average, it was 7.0 % points under that of the previous year. However, it was possible to compensate for the inferior, weather-related, generation from the run-of-river power plants by means of the 2009 acquisition of the Bavarian Inn power plants. The production of the annual reservoir power plants sank by 9.7 % on account of the significant decline in inflows compared to 2009. In 2010, VERBUND generated 26,708 GWh from hy-dro power, including procurement rights, amounting to some 1.4 % less than 2009.
By way of contrast, thermal generation rose by 56.9 % to 4,258 GWh. A determining factor for this was the higher thermal own generation, as well as the pro-rata production of electricity from the POWEO power plant, Pont-sur-Sambre, which has been in operation since the end of September 2009.
In addition, the result was considerably influenced by the extremely weak development of the whole-sale prices. Traded in 2009, the relevant prices for fiscal 2010 of the electricity forward contract, “Year Base 2010”, thus lay, at an average 49.2 €/MWh, 30.0 % below the previous year’s level. The prices for the front year peak contracts, traded in 2009, sank over the 2009 annual average by 29.8 % to 69.8 €/MWh. In contrast, somewhat higher prices were again realised on the spot market in 2010. At 52.1 €/MWh, the average achieved contract price achieved by VERBUND for 2010 was 9.2 €/MWh below that of the previous year.
In 2010, the development of VERBUND results were also swayed by one-off effects. With some 30 million €, they had an impact on the operating result, as well as on the financial result.
Capital Increase Powers Investment in Hydropower
A milestone in VERBUND’s history was the capital increase to the tune of some 1 billion €, which was carried out on 24 November 2010. The new capital enabled the further rapid implementation of the planned investments on the basis of a solid capital structure and an “A” rating. The next six years will see VERBUND investing 2.4 billion € in growth projects, such as the large pumped storage power plants Limberg II in Salzburg and Reisseck II in Carinthia. In addition, the expansion of Austria’s high voltage grid is being further pushed ahead and investment in Turkey continued.
Based upon an average water supply, roughly the same results are being anticipated for fiscal 2011. The dividend policy continues to be oriented on a constant dividend payout ratio of between 45 and
50 % of the group result.