* Nine-month adjusted EBITDA down 2.5 pct at 1.816 billion
* Full-year forecast unchanged for 5-10 percent fall in
* Sees deal with ENI on joint venture in foreseeable future
* Thinly traded shares down 4.3 percent
(Adds comments by CFO, asset sales, share price reaction)
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, Nov 12 Underlying profits at EnBW
Energie Baden Wuerttemberg AG, Germany's third-biggest
utility, have been hit by lower wholesale power prices and weak
demand for energy due to the euro zone's economic downturn.
The company reported on Tuesday a 2.5 percent fall in its
adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) to 1.816 billion euros ($2.43 billion) in
the first nine months of the year and said it still expected a
5-10 percent fall for the full year.
"Power prices continue to be under pressure and that'll be a
burden for EnBW's earnings," Chief Financial Officer Thomas
Kusterer told reporters on a results conference call.
Utilities in Germany, including RWE and E.ON
and Vattenfall have been hit hard by
falling wholesale power prices, which are reducing margins for
coal and gas-fired plants, and supply competition from rival
renewable energy sources, most notably solar and wind.
In addition utilities have to buy CO2 allowances under the
European emissions trading scheme to account for plant
emissions, putting further pressure on margins.
The structural crisis has forced EnBW to launch a
restructuring programme, dubbed "EnBW 2020", which includes
measures to raise the share of renewables in its energy supply
mix and increase its asset sale programme to 2.7 billion euros.
The group is also in talks to buy Italian group ENI's
50 percent stake in their German gas grid joint venture
Terranets BW and Kusterer said he was confident a solution would
be found in the "foreseeable future".
Meanwhile Kusterer said EnBW was still talking to parties
interested in its 15.1-percent stake in local utility MVV
Apart from MVV, EnBW is also looking to sell its
32.5-percent stake in EVN AG.
Shares in EnBW were down 4.3 percent at 28.75 euros by 1119
GMT. The shares are thinly traded, with a free float of less
than half a percent. 46.75 percent of the stock is owned by the
German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and another 46.75 percent is
held by nine of the German state's municipalities.
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)