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Alpiq achieves a solid result
Half-year report 2009
In a challenging environment caused by the financial and economic crisis, in the first half of 2009 Alpiq generated consolidated sales of 7.1 billion CHF, a reduction of 7.4 percent compared with the prior year. On the other hand the EBITDA of 722 million CHF and the EBIT of 505 million CHF lie within the range of the prior year's good results despite significant additional charges. The group profit amounts to 327 million CHF (-4.1 percent). With 7.1 percent Alpiq realised an EBIT margin which even exceeded that of the prior year. All comparisons with the first half of 2008 are based on the amounts in the pro-forma consolidation of the Atel Group (not audited) with the activities of EOS and Emosson.
The Energy segment generated consolidated sales of 6.2 billion CHF in the first six months of 2009, a fall of 7.7 percent on a comparable basis. The reason for the fall is a reduced sales volume (-5.1 percent) at a price level that overall was lower than 2008. The EBIT of 483 million CHF is 27 million CHF or 5.9 percent over the comparable prior year amount. Positive factors were, in particular, the increased profits from Asset Trading as a result of the excellent production conditions in Switzerland and the higher contribution from sales in Western Europe. The business division Switzerland has been considerably strengthened by the merger of Atel with EOS. In particular Alpiq now has access to an installed production capacity of about 4100 megawatts in Switzerland. In the first half of 2009 the market region Switzerland felt the first effects of the economic downturn.
The Western European market region experienced a significant growth in volume. In Spain particularly the end-user business was again much expanded. In contrast sales in France remained at the prior year level as a result of the economic crisis. In Italy, after a difficult beginning of the year - characterised by falling electricity prices, while gas prices at first remained high - business progress improved continuously. The markets in Central Europe were affected by the economic crisis in the first half of the year. The reduced demand for electricity and heat in industry and the higher availability of production capacity resulted in excess capacity and corresponding pressure on prices. This was compensated by good results from the power stations and sales.
Energy Services segment
The net sales of the Energy Services segment fell in the first half year in comparison with the prior year by 4.1 percent to 967 million CHF. The EBIT of 28 million CHF is, as expected, less than the prior year amount. This is explained mainly by the special items recorded in the first half of 2008 aggregating about 20 million CHF. Without these non-recurring items the decrease is 10 million CHF and is the result of the economic situation.
The Alpiq InTec Group (formerly the Atel Installationstechnik Group, Zürich) increased its sales by 5.3 percent to 379 million CHF compared with the prior year. The net sales of the German GAH Group in Heidelberg amounted to 391 million Euro in the first six months and were therefore, as expected, 3.5 percent below the prior year amount.
The merger of the assets, competences and market positions of Atel, EOS and Emosson has resulted in a considerable increase in the value of the group and, in the medium term, will have a positive effect on the group's profit. In the medium term synergies and development potential will arise from the merger. In the short term, however, the group's debt has grown as a result of the combination and, together with the integration costs, will be a drag on the income statement and balance sheet in the immediate future.
For the second half year 2009 the Alpiq Group does not expect any significant improvements in the energy business. In Energy Services price and margin pressure will grow. Overall the Group continues to expect that it will not be possible to achieve the EBIT and the net profit compared with the excellent results of the pro-forma account for 2008. On the other hand it is expected that the operating profit of the former Atel Group will be exceeded.
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