VERBUND Q1–2/2012: results improved despite persistently difficult market and industry environment
VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company, presents improved results for quarters 1–2/2012 despite the persistently difficult market and industry environment.
Increased operating result and Group result
The operating result increased by 11.9% to €434.7m. The main reason for this was the 26.8% increase in electricity generated from hydropower. At 1.09, the hydro coefficient of the run-of-river power plants was 9.0% above the long-term average. Generation from annual storage power plants also increased significantly (+34.0%). However, generation from thermal power plants decreased by 348 GWh. Overall, at 17,096 GWh, VERBUND’s own generation in quarters 1–2/2012 was 2,823 GWh higher than in quarters 1–2/2011. In addition, VERBUND benefited from higher sales prices: at an average of €56.0/MWh, electricity prices applicable for the 2012 financial year which were traded in 2011 with future market contracts (“Year Base 2012”) were up 12.3% over the 2010 level. As a result of its hedging strategy, VERBUND already included around 60% of its own generation in its 2011 price calculation over the future market. In contrast, spot market prices fell in quarters 1–2/2012 by 18.9% to €42.8/MWh. The ongoing difficult economic circumstances for gas power plants in Europe had a negative impact on the operating result. Once again, an impairment loss had to be recognised for the ultramodern Mellach CCGT, which had been officially opened on 22 June 2012. VERBUND was also able to increase the Group result in the first half of 2012 – by 12.4% to €198.2m.
Outlook for the full year
Assuming average water supply in the second half of 2012, we expect an operating result of around €800m and a Group result of around €350m for the entire year. However, if the conditions in the overall economy and the energy sector in Europe continue to worsen, additional negative effects on earnings in the second half of 2012 cannot be ruled out. Our dividend policy will aim for a payout ratio of approximately 50% of the Group result.