VERBUND AG: Results for quarters 1-3/2018: positive earnings trend despite historically low water supply in quarter 3/2018
VERBUND's business performance in quarters 1-3/2018 was very satisfactory. Earnings increased despite the historically low water supply from Austrian rivers, our return KPIs improved further and the Group continued to reduce its debt level. VERBUND shares saw their best performance by far on the ATX as well as among all European utilities since the beginning of the year. After the recent ratings upgrades, VERBUND's credit rating is again one of the best in the sector. However, business performance suffered in quarter 3/2018 due to historically low water supply. The months of July, August and September were among the driest on record. The hydro coefficient of 0.74 meant that the water supply was 26% below the long-term average. Due to the above-average hydro situation in the first half-year, the hydro coefficient for quarters 1-3/2018 was 0.96, or just 4% below the long-term average. The higher contribution from the Grid segment and the good results achieved through the programmes implemented in recent years to reduce costs and increase efficiency had a positive impact on earnings performance. Revenue from flexibility products developed better than expected but witnessed a decline year-on-year, given that financial year 2017 was heavily impacted by positive effects.
EBITDA was up 2.3%, rising from EUR663.5m to EUR678.4m. The reported Group result rose by 4.9% with an increase from EUR269.5m to EUR282.8m. The Group result after adjustment for non-recurring effects increased by 10.1%, from EUR252.1m to EUR277.6m. Operating cash flow rose by 12.0% to EUR542.1m, and free cash flow before dividends was up 21.5% to EUR389.0m. Net debt has therefore decreased by 7.4% since 31 December 2017 to EUR2,663.2m.
Outlook for 2018 Due to the unusually low water supply in quarter 3/2018, we have lowered our previous earnings guidance and now anticipate EBITDA of around EUR870m and a Group result of approximately EUR340m for financial year 2018 based on expectations of average levels of own generation from hydropower and wind power in quarter 4/2018. VERBUND is planning a dividend payout ratio of between 40% and 45% of the projected Group result of approximately EUR335m for financial year 2018 after adjustment for non-recurring effects.
KPIs Unit Q1-3/2017 Q1-3/2018 Change Revenue EURm 2,161.6 2,080.7 -3.7% EBITDA EURm 663.5 678.4 2.3% Operating result EURm 429.5 439.9 2.4% Group result EURm 269.5 282.8 4.9% Earnings per share EUR 0.78 0.81 4.9% EBIT margin % 19.9 21.1 - EBITDA margin % 30.7 32.6 - Cash flow from operating activities EURm 483.8 542.1 12.0% Free cash flow before dividends EURm 320.2 389.0 21.5% Performance of VERBUND shares % 31.4 110.6 - Gearing % 52.7 46.3 -
Additional information as well as the Interim Financial Report for quarters 1-3/2018 is available at www.verbund.com > Investor relations > Latest financial results.
Contact:Andreas Wollein Head of Group Finance, M&A and Investor Relations T.: +43 (0)5 03 13 - 52604 F.: +43 (0)5 03 13 - 52694 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
07.11.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases. Archive at www.dgap.deLanguage: English Company: VERBUND AG Am Hof 6A 1010 Wien
Austria Phone: 0043-1-53113-52604 Fax: 0043-1-53113-52694 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.verbund.com ISIN: AT0000746409 WKN: 877738 Indices: ATX Listed: Foreign Exchange(s) Vienna Stock Exchange (Official Market) End of News DGAP News Service