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Short-term tailwind countered by a lower future tariff environment

  • 27 Aug 15

Revenue increased by 11.3% yoy to €1,664m, which is in line with consensus. However, earnings are better than expected, mainly boosted by positive results in Bulgaria and Macedonia, as the EBITDA reached €497.2m, increasing by 38.8% yoy and beating expectations by 3.22%. Operating profit reached €286.5m coming from negative territory a year ago due to impairments and was 6.6% above forecasts. Net income was also better than expected, by 2.9%, reaching €187.1m. The investment made in the generation business was mainly driven towards renewable energy projects (with additional capacity commissioned) and networks. However, some of the positive tailwinds from regulation that the group benefited from last year in South-Eastern Europe should be slightly reduced due to the 0.4% reduction in tariffs in Bulgaria and 0.3% in Macedonia. End customer prices in Austria will also face an additional reduction of 5% for electricity and natural gas starting from 1 October 2015, which will slightly affect the network tariffs for the group, but to a lesser extent. But the greatest negative effect will come from the 7% reduction in heat prices in Bulgaria. Net debt substantially decreased to €1,293m, a 13.16% decrease in just one quarter, which was mainly driven by a reduction in both bonds and bank loans from scheduled payments, reducing the gross debt of the group. This reduction positively affects the gearing of the group, now reaching 49.1% with a 40.1% equity ratio. The outlook is confirmed for the full year, which is to exceed the group’s net results in 2012-13.