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UPDATE 2-Expansion, green energy to boost E.ON profit
March 14, 2012 / 8:28 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Expansion, green energy to boost E.ON profit

* Sees 2012 EBITDA at 9.6-10.2 bln euros, dividend 1.10 euros

* Keeps 2013 outlook for EBITDA of 11.6-12.3 bln euros

* Shares up 4.4 percent (Adds analyst comment, details on expansion, updates shares)

By Christoph Steitz

DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 14 (Reuters) - E.ON said renewable energy and foreign expansion should help lift core profit this year and next, after Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power led to the country’s biggest utility posting its first full-year net loss.

Chief executive Johannes Teyssen said on Wednesday E.ON was pleased with the growth in its renewable unit -- spanning wind, solar and hydro power -- where 2011 core profit rose 21 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($2.0 billion).

E.ON said it expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 9.6-10.2 billion euros this year, and confirmed its 2013 outlook for EBITDA of 11.6-12.3 billion. That compared with forecasts for 10.5 billion euros and 11.4 billion, respectively.

Its shares were up 4.6 percent to 17.87 euros by 0813 GMT, the stock’s biggest intraday gain in five months and outperforming a 0.6 percent higher blue-chip DAX index.

Germany’s nuclear exit and losses at E.ON’s gas trading unit were mainly responsible for a 2011 net loss of 2.22 billion euros, E.ON said. The outcome chimed with statements from peers EnBW and RWE, which also posted losses or large declines in earnings last week.

“Even if E.ON was adversely affected by a number of key issues such as gas prices, the nuclear phase-out or depreciations, we believe that the company has a good starting base for a positive development,” DZ Bank analyst Hasim Senguel said, keeping a “buy” rating on the stock.

To make up for the loss of income from nuclear power generation, E.ON has been aggressively expanding its renewable energy business as well as operations in emerging markets. Teyssen said the company was in talks with potential partners in India and Turkey.

E.ON said in January it will team up with Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista to build the largest privately held network of power plants in Brazil, as it bets on emerging markets amid stagnant growth in Europe.

As part of the deal, it paid 850 million reais ($473 million) for a 10 percent stake in Batista-controlled MPX Energia.

E.ON, which is to pay a 1 euro dividend for 2011, has long been saying it is studying opportunities in Brazil, India and Turkey, where energy demand is growing more rapidly than in its European core markets.

It aims to generate a quarter of EBITDA from outside Europe by 2015 at the earliest.

E.ON said it planned to pay a dividend of 1.10 euros for 2012, and at least 1.10 euros for 2013. ($1 = 0.7628 euro = 1.7970 Brazilian reals) (Editing by Dan Lalor)

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