September 2, 2019 / 9:16 AM / 19 days ago

Dutch energy firm Eneco's H1 profit jumps as it prepares for sale

AMSTERDAM, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Eneco on Monday reported an 18% jump in first-half core profit as the Dutch energy firm prepares for its expected sale.

It said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 272 million euros ($303 million) in the first six months of 2019, up from 230 million euros a year earlier.

The 44 Dutch cities which own Eneco launched a sale process in May after a clash between management and shareholders led to the dismissal of both the CEO and chairman.

The company, which generates about half its electricity from renewable sources, said it was still on track to be sold next year, with the potential buyer expected to be announced around Christmas.

In June sources close to the matter said a consortium set up by Royal Dutch Shell and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM had taken the lead in the sales process, with infrastructure fund Macquarie and Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp among the other bidders.

Analysts have estimated Eneco is worth about 3 billion euros.

$1 = 0.8973 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by Jason Neely

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