Verbund Raises Outlook Following Gains From Asset Sales

Verbund AG (VER), Austria’s biggest utility, raised its full-year earnings outlook following one-time gains from asset sales in Turkey.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will rise to 1.25 billion euros ($1.72 billion) in 2013, the Vienna-based company said today in a statement. That compares with the 1.15 billion euros previously forecast.

Verbund, which generates most of its power from hydro plants in the Alps and along Austrian rivers, swapped generation assets in Turkey with EON SE in December after deciding to curtail its international expansion and focus on Austria and southern Germany.

Verbund rose as much as 3.5 percent in Vienna trading today, the biggest intraday gain since Oct. 18. The stock was up 2.3 percent at 17.60 euros as of 9:10 a.m. local time, paring its decline this year to 6.2 percent.

Third-quarter net income fell 48 percent to 62.2 million euros as a result of unprofitable natural-gas and wind-power projects. That missed the 67.8 million-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Verbund reiterated a forecast for full-year net income of about 600 million euros and expects to pay a 1-euro dividend for 2013.

“The situation in the European energy markets remains challenging,” the management board wrote in a letter to shareholders. “Excess capacities in electricity generation, extensive over-subsidization of new renewable energy and a non-functioning CO2 market” have caused prices to stagnate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Geneva at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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