VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company and one of Europe’s largest producers of hydropower, has reported a positive income trend for quarters 1–3 2013 despite the difficult market environment. Increased hydropower generation, lower wholesale prices and a difficult situation for gas power plants have marked the first nine months of the year. Based on our updated income trend, we expect EBITDA for financial year 2013 to be higher than originally forecast at approximately €1,250m. The Group result is expected to amount to around €600m. VERBUND plans to distribute a dividend of €1 per share for financial year 2013.
Income performed positively in the first 9 months of 2013 against the backdrop of a difficult market environment. The operating business was driven by the good water supply in quarters 1–3/2013, which was 4% above the long-term average and 3 percentage points above the previous year’s figure. Newly acquired power plant interests in Germany (+1,063 GWh) and higher generation of annual storage and pumped storage power plants (+187 GWh, or +5.4%) accounted for most of the year-on-year increase in hydropower generation of 680 GWh. Generation from wind power rose by 196 GWh to 351 GWh due to the commissioning of installations in Romania and Germany. However, generation from thermal power plants decreased by 282 GWh owing to market conditions. Overall, VERBUND’s own generation in quarters 1–3/2013 was 594 GWh higher than in quarters 1–3/2012.
However, the overall decline in wholesale electricity prices and the continuing difficult economic climate for gas power plants put a strain on business operations. EBITDA improved by €156.7m year-on-year to €1,094.3m. The income trend was also influenced by significant non-recurring effects. Successful completion of the asset swap with German utility E.ON had a positive effect, while impairment losses resulting from impairment tests – particularly in the area of gas power plants – had a negative effect. Taking into account all non-recurring effects plus additional negative results from Sorgenia in Italy, the Group result nonetheless increased by €177.7m to €510.4m.
Outlook for the full year
Based on our updated income trend, we now expect EBITDA for financial year 2013 to be higher than originally forecast at approximately €1,250m. The Group result is expected to amount to around €600m. The forecast is based on a hydro coefficient of 1.03. The Group plans to distribute a dividend of €1 per share for financial year 2013.