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Verbund Sees Full-Year Ebit Decline, Below Analyst Estimates

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Verbund AG, Austria’s largest utility, said it expects full-year earnings before interest and tax to decline 20 percent, falling more than analysts are expecting.

The company is predicting Ebit to fall to about 800 million euros ($966 million) from 998.4 million euros last year, Vienna-based Verbund said today in a statement. That compares to an average estimate of 932.4 million euros, according to 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Verbund’s net income forecast of 350 million euros also falls short of analysts’ 480.7 million-euro estimate. The company had net income of 352.6 million euros last year.

Verbund is basing its guidance on the assumption of an average water supply in the second half, Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Anzengruber told reporters in Vienna today. “If the conditions in the overall economy and the energy sector in Europe continue to worsen, additional negative effects on earnings in the second half of 2012 cannot be ruled out,” he said.

Second-quarter net income rose 16 percent to 78.8 million euros, missing analysts estimates of 90.3 million euros. The company had a 52 million-euro impairment on its Mellach plant and also had to take a 48 million-euro hit on its plant in Toul. The hydro coefficient of the run-of-river power plants was at 1.09 in the first half of the year, 9 percent above the long-term average, Verbund said.

Shares fell 2.7 percent to 14.5 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Vienna.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zoe Schneeweiss at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

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