EnBW Profit Falls on Reduced Power Generation, Trading

EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, Germany’s third-largest utility, said 2012 profit fell 4.3 percent on a weaker performance in power generation and trading.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization retreated to 2.34 billion euros ($3.06 billion) from 2.45 billion euros in 2011, Karlsruhe-based EnBW said today in a statement. The company had forecast a decline of about 5 percent. Total sales rose 2.6 percent to 19.2 billion euros.

“The traditional business model of EnBW is under considerable pressure,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Mastiaux told a press conference. The effect of decreased profitability of conventional power plants will have “clearly negative effects on profit in 2014 and beyond,” he said.

Mastiaux, who took over from Hans-Peter Villis in October, is under pressure to sell assets and cut costs as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to exit nuclear energy by 2022 erodes earnings. EnBW, which counted on reactors for more than half of its output before the ruling, lost two of its four atomic plants in a first wave of shutdowns.

The utility forecast a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in Ebitda this year. The company increased its asset disposal program to 1.6 billion euros by 2015 from 1.5 billion euros, of which 500 million euros has already been carried out, according to its annual report.

The shares slid as much as 2.8 percent to 30.34 euros and were down 2.7 percent as of 2:19 p.m. The stock is down 14 percent in the past year.

EnBW proposed a 2012 dividend of 85 euro cents. EON SE and RWE AG are Germany’s biggest utilities.