Uniper continues solid operating performance
DGAP-News: Uniper SE / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement/9-month figures
Uniper delivered a solid operating performance in the first nine months of 2016. Its adjusted EBITDA rose by EUR0.6 billion year on year to EUR1.8 billion, its adjusted EBIT by EUR0.7 billion to EUR1.3 billion. A strong performance by the gas business of Uniper's Global Commodities segment was a key driver of the increase in operating earnings. This more than offset the adverse impact of price and volume effects at the company's European Generation segment and the outage of Berezovskaya 3 generating unit in Russia at the International Power segment.
European Generation's results continued to be adversely affected by significantly lower achieved power prices. This segment's adjusted EBITDA declined by EUR174 million year on year to EUR0.6 billion. By contrast, Global Commodities' adjusted EBITDA rose by
Uniper announced further details of its cost-reduction and reorganization program. Until year-end 2018 the company aims to reduce its controllable costs by EUR0.4 billion, from a year-end 2015 baseline of EUR2.3 billion to EUR1.9 billion. This reduction target includes cost savings in conjunction with planned and already communicated plant closures but not the future impact of disposals. Uniper intends to achieve half of the reduction target by year-end 2016, in part by eliminating duplicate work and simplifying its administrative setup, which will help reduce personnel costs. In addition, next year Uniper plans to reduce its cost of materials in areas like procurement and IT. The company also plans to achieve cost savings in its operating businesses, in particular at its hydroelectric operations, its nuclear power business in Sweden, and in services.
Uniper's nine-month net loss of EUR4.2 billion is attributable to non-cash-effective valuation effects, most of which the company had already disclosed with its results for the first half of 2016. Uniper's third-quarter net loss of EUR348 million resulted primarily from the marking to market of derivative financial instruments, which the company uses to hedge its forward power and gas positions.
Uniper's economic net debt stood at EUR3.7 billion at September 30, 2016, which is about EUR1 billion less than the pro forma figure for January 1, 2016. A key factor was the company's strong operating cash flow, which improved by almost 30 percent year on year to roughly EUR2.4 billion. Compared to due date September 30, 2016, Uniper expects its economic net debt to be slightly higher at year-end 2016. As planned, Uniper's nine-month cash-effective investments were down year on year, declining by EUR186 million, or 27 percent, to EUR511 million.
CFO Christopher Delbrück said: "Our nine-month numbers are fully in line with our expectations. Our progress in reducing our debt is particularly pleasing. It demonstrates that our efforts to stabilize our balance sheet are working. We'll continue to invest very selectively and to maintain strict cost discipline so that we can give Uniper a robust balance sheet for the long term."
Uniper's expects its full-year 2016 adjusted EBITDA to be between EUR1.9 and EUR2.2 billion and its CAPEX to be between EUR0.75 to EUR0.85 billion. Uniper's intention to propose a dividend of EUR200 million, or 55 cents per share, is unchanged.
Uniper has preliminary information about its shareholder structure beyond the nearly 47-percent stake owned by E.ON: about one third of its stock is owned by institutional investors, less than 10 percent of whom are based in Germany. CEO Klaus Schäfer said: "Uniper is a very international company in terms of both its operations and its ownership. The interest in Uniper stock is spread relatively evenly across the world's most important financial markets, with significant concentrations in Europe and the United States."
Uniper is a leading international energy company with operations in more than 40 countries and around 13,000 employees. Uniper's business is to provide a reliable supply of energy and related services. Its main operations include power generation in Europe and Russia and global energy trading. Its headquarters are in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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