VERBUND, Austria’s leading utility, presents a satisfactory business performance for financial year 2011 in light of the difficult conditions in the energy market environment and the overall economy. A dividend of €0.55 per share will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting on 12 April 2012.
Annual Results 2011: satisfactory business performance
2011 with difficult conditions in the energy market environment and the overall economy
Revenue and operating result up, Group result down
Revenue rose 16.9% to €3,865.4m in 2011. The operating result rose 20.9% to €1,001.6m. The hydro coefficient, which is the measured value for the generation from run-of-river and pondage power plants, was 0.89 in 2011, or 11% below the long-term average and 10 percentage points below the prior-year figure. At an average of €49.9/MWh, electricity prices applicable for the 2011 financial year (forward contracts “Year Base 2011” traded in 2010) were up 1.4% over the previous year’s level.
The changed market environment for the energy sector had led to impairment tests of VERBUND power plants in the third quarter of 2011, which resulted in an increase in the operating result after impairment losses were reversed in the amount of €202.2m. Adjusted for the net positive effects from the impairment tests, the operating result fell only slightly by 3.6% to €799.4m, despite the extraordinarily weak water supply. The Group result declined by 12.0% to €352.6m.
The primary cause was the negative impact of foreign interests accounted for using the equity method, particularly the non-cash measurement of foreign exchange liabilities on the part of the Turkish joint venture, and the gas supply contract for the combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Pont-sur-Sambre/France, which was accounted for at fair value through profit or loss for the first time.
Outlook for 2012
Regarding the outlook, given the uncertain macroeconomic and financial environment and the resulting difficult conditions in the energy industry, it is impossible at present to give a serious forecast for earnings in 2012. Our dividend policy will aim for a payout ratio of approximately 50% of the Group result.