PresseBox
Press release BoxID: 310527 (EVN AG)
  • EVN AG
  • EVN Platz
  • 2344 Maria Enzersdorf
  • http://www.evn.at
  • Contact person
  • Stefan Zach
  • +43 (2236) 200-12294

EVN annual results 2008/09

(October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009)

(PresseBox) (Maria Enzersdorf, ) - Positive revenue and EBIT development despite difficult economic conditions
- Lower income from investments as a result of the price decline for primary energy
- District heating transmission pipeline to St. Pölten completed
- Start of construction of the transregional gas transport pipeline "Südschiene" in Lower Austria
- Takeover of the cable network operator B.net in Burgenland
- Hard coal fired power plant in Duisburg-Walsum before startup
- Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of three hydropower storage plants in Albania
- Concession to distribute and supply natural gas on the Croatian Adriatic coast
- Strong business performance in the Environmental Services segment, expansion in the Baltic region, new contract in Montenegro

The energy sector environment in the 2008/09 financial year (October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009) was characterised by higher temperatures in Austria and Macedonia. In contrast, the temperatures in Bulgaria were lower compared to the longterm average. As a consequence of the economic recession, primary energy and electricity prices as well as the costs of CO2 emission certificates declined considerably in the course of the 2008/09 financial year. Due to the recession, electricity consumption has declined significantly since the fourth quarter of 2008. However, sales volumes of the EVN Group declined more moderately due to its stable customer structure in Lower Austria and in the southeastern Europe region.

Strong results despite unfavourable economic conditions

Against this backdrop, the EVN Group succeeded in increasing its total revenue by 13.8%, to EUR 2,727.0m. The revenue improvement in the Energy segment was primarily due to upward price adjustments for electricity, gas and heat, which in turn were made necessary by the strong rise in energy procurement prices in previous periods. Business development in the Environmental Services segment was characterised by a higher volume of orders received, which led to a revenue increase. Energy segment's share of total revenue amounted to 90.2%, revenue generated by the Environmental Services segment climbed to a share of 8.7% of total revenue. Revenue generated outside of the Austrian market corresponds to a 38.4% share of revenue generated abroad.

Due to energy quantities purchased at the higher market prices prevailing in previous periods as a means of ensuring the reliability and security of energy supplies, electricity purchases and primary energy expenses rose by 20.2% compared to the previous year to EUR 1,653.2m. Despite the difficult business environment, EBITDA climbed to EUR 373.4m, up 3.1% and the operating results (EBIT) rose by 5.2% to EUR 175.2m. The financial results in the 2008/09 financial year were significantly below the previous year's figure, decreasing by 26.2% to EUR 50.8m. The higher dividend distributed by Verbundgesellschaft could not compensate for the lower profit contribution from EVN investments related to the declining earnings contributions of investments in associates included at equity, particularly Rohöl-Aufsuchungs AG, for which reason the total profit contribution from EVN investments was down 31.4%, or EUR 43.0m, to EUR 94.0m. Taking the abovementioned changes in the financial results into account, the profit before income tax was down 4.0% to EUR 226.0m. The net profit of EVN decreased by 4.8% to EUR 177.9m. This corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 1.09 (previous year: EUR 1.14).

The dividend policy of EVN is oriented towards ensuring a sustainable development of the company. Accordingly, the Executive Board will propose an unchanged dividend of EUR 0.37 per share for the 2008/09 financial year to the Annual General Meeting on January 21, 2010, despite the slight decline in EVN earnings.

Results improvement in Energy and Environmental Services segments

The revenue improvement in the Energy segment, amounting to 12.7% to EUR 2,459.3m, was primarily due to higher electricity and heat sales volumes, as well as upward price adjustments. The EBIT improvement in Business units Generation and Networks more than compensated for the decline in Supply and South East Europe. All in all, operating results (EBIT) increased by 2.3% to EUR 158.7m in Energy segment. Business development in the Environmental Services segment was characterised by a higher volume of orders received, which led to a revenue increase of 27.9% to EUR 236m. EBIT of the Environmental Services segment could be improved by 8.5% to EUR 27.5m.

Outlook

EVN anticipates a slight increase in revenue and stable results from operating activities in the 2009/10 financial year. The financial results are likely to remain at the same level as the current period under review, due to the unchanged lower earnings contribution from investments operating in the field of primary energy. On balance, despite the expected difficult macroeconomic environment, the Group net profit will likely remain stable. EVN is striving to maintain its attractive dividend policy in line with its valueoriented growth strategy.

The company also plans a slight rise in its investments in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment in the 2009/10 financial year. The large projects being implemented at EVN's facilities in Dürnrohr/Zwentendorf within the context of EVN's Energy Concept for the Lower Austrian Central Region are already finished or will soon be put into operation. These projects encompass an expansion of capacity in the waste incineration plant, the expansion of the power station in Dürnrohr to process heat generated by the biomass and waste incineration facilities and construction of the district heating pipeline from Dürnrohr to St. Pölten. Investments in Lower Austria's electricity and gas networks will be kept at a high level in order to ensure reliable and secure energy supplies in the face of growing demand. The investment programme to modernise and expand the network infrastructure in South East Europe will continue.

The entire Annual Report 2008/09 is available at http://www.investor.evn.at.

EVN Sustainability Report 2008/09

According to our traditions, the Sustainability Report of EVN has been published together with the EVN Annual Report. It provides an insight into the various EVN initiatives; giving both an account of the progress made in terms of our commitment to sustainability and outlining the path which lies before us. In order to deliver comprehensive and transparent information to all stakeholders, the EVN Sustainability Report follows the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI Application Level A+ was reached again.

As far as EVN is concerned, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means working voluntarily towards making a contribution towards sustainable development. Here, EVN's sustainable development means a continuous process involving all areas of the company, which requires clear objectives to be formulated. The corporate objective is therefore expressed as one of laying the foundations for sustainable corporate management, originating from Lower Austria, and extending to the subsidiaries in Bulgaria and Macedonia. Many EVN areas of activity are sustainable in themselves and define to a large extent their operational everyday business.

For more information on EVN and its focus on responsibility or to download the EVN Sustainability Report, please refer to http://www.evn.at/Responsibility.aspx.