Numerous measures to counteract the above developments continued to be implemented in financial year 2014. An important step was the restructuring of electricity generated from fossil fuels. In addition, VERBUND’s investment plan has been streamlined and adapted to the changing conditions in the European electricity market.
VERBUND’s internal programme to reduce costs and increase efficiency, which has been underway for two years, will save the Group a total of more than €130m by the end of 2015.
The income trend in financial year 2014 was impacted by non-recurring effects, as was also the case in 2013. The changed energy market parameters and an adjustment of the WACC to the lower interest rate levels led to impairment losses and reversals of impairment losses. Additional non-recurring effects resulted from the sale of the French Pont-sur-Sambre and Toul CCGTs and from the restructuring in the thermal area. Earnings in 2013 had received a very significant boost from the sale of the Turkish activities and the concurrent purchase of hydropower plants in Germany. The operating business was particularly impacted in 2014 by the further decline in electricity sales prices and a lower water supply compared with the previous year. EBITDA therefore decreased by a total of €492.6m to €808.8m, and the Group result declined by €453.5m to €126.1m. EBITDA after adjustment for non-recurring effects decreased by €270.0m to €889.6m, and the adjusted Group result fell by €168.2 to €216.0m.
Dividend for 2014
A dividend of €0.29 per share for financial year 2014 will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting on 22 April 2015.
Outlook for 2015
Based on the average own generation from hydropower, EBITDA is expected to amount to approximately €770m and the Group result to approximately €180m in financial year 2015. For 2015, VERBUND is planning a payout ratio of approximately 50% on the basis of the Group result after adjustment for non-recurring effects.