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RWE raises forecast for 2012 slightly
Operating result up in first three quarters
Further progress with divestment programme
Focus on strict spending discipline
RWE has slightly raised its forecast for 2012. The Group now expects EBITDA and the operating result to at least match the level of 2011, while recurrent net income is anticipated to be unchanged in the order of the previous year.
In the first three quarters, EBITDA increased to €6.7 billion, up 8% on 2011. The Group operating result improved by 8% to €4.6 billion. Recurrent net income, the yardstick for the dividend proposal, rose by 6% (to €1.9 billion). One reason for this was that in the same period last year substantial one-off burdens arose from Germany's decision to exit from nuclear energy. These burdens did not recur in 2012. In addition, RWE also benefited from operational improvements, particularly in its trading business. At €38.4 billion, external revenue was slightly up on last year's level (€38.2 billion).
With the sale of its interests in Berlin water utility Berlinwasser, the "Edvard Grieg" oil field and UK nuclear-energy joint venture Horizon in October, RWE made further progress with its divestment programme. "These sales are not only attractive to us because of the proceeds but also because we will no longer incur the expenditure planned for the development projects Horizon and Edvard Grieg", said CEO of RWE, Peter Terium, in explaining the important contribution these transactions make towards reducing the Group's leverage factor. In addition, he added that RWE would stick to its aim of ensuring cash flows from operating activities are sufficient in future to cover capital expenditure and dividend payments.
Electricity and gas sales decline
In the first nine months of 2012, RWE sold 208.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, 7% less than in the same period last year. The key reason for this decline was the deconsolidation of transmission system operator Amprion. Gas sales dropped by 11% to 203.6 billion kilowatt hours. In addition to the reduced output of gas power plants supplied by RWE, the main contributing factor here was a decline in sales to distributors experienced by the Germany Division.
Investments lower than in the same period last year
As the biggest investment programme in the history of the Group draws to an end, capital expenditure of €3.4 billion on property, plant and equipment in the first three quarters of 2012 was €1 billion less than in the same period last year. In total, RWE invested €3.8 billion. The company was able to abate the negative trend in cash flows from operating activities. It was down 29% (to €3.2 billion), compared to minus 56% in the first half of the year. The reduced cash flow from operating activities was reflected in free cash flow, which was minus €151 million (compared to €134 million in the previous year).
Since the end of 2011, a net total of 575 employees have left the company. As of 30 September 2012, RWE employed 71,493 staff.
Slightly improved outlook for 2012
In its outlook for the full fiscal year 2012, RWE is now slightly more confident than it was in August of this year. The Group now expects to at least match the EBITDA and the operating result achieved in 2011. Its forecast for recurrent net income remains unchanged, with RWE still anticipating a result in the order of last year's level.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the future development of the RWE Group and its companies as well as economic and political developments. These statements are assessments that we have made based on information available to us at the time this document was prepared. In the event that the underlying assumptions do not materialise or additional risks arise, actual performance can deviate from the performance expected at present. Therefore, we cannot assume responsibility for the accuracy of these statements.
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