* Sees 2012 EBITDA at 9.6-10.2 bln euros, dividend 1.10
* Keeps 2013 outlook for EBITDA of 11.6-12.3 bln euros
* E.ON successfully re-negotiates gas contracts with Statoil
* Shares up 6.2 percent
(Adds details on gas business, analyst comment)
By Christoph Steitz and Tom Käckenhoff
DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 14 Germany's
biggest utility, E.ON, expects renewable energy and
foreign expansion to lift core profit this year and next after
the country's decision to phase out nuclear power accounted for
most of its first-ever full-year net loss.
Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said on Wednesday that E.ON
was pleased with growth at its renewable unit - spanning wind,
solar and hydro power - where 2011 core profit rose 21 percent
to 1.5 billion euros.
The net loss for the year of 2.22 billion euros ($2.91
billion), compared with a year-earlier profit of 5.85 billion,
was due to a 1.5 billion euro hit from the early shutdown of
nuclear power plants in Germany plus hundreds of millions of
euros in losses in the gas business, E.ON said on Wednesday.
Rivals EnBW and RWE also posted losses
or large declines in earnings last week.
"Even if E.ON was adversely affected by a number of key
issues such as gas prices, the nuclear phase-out or
depreciations, we believe that the company has a good starting
base for a positive development," DZ Bank analyst Hasim Senguel
said, keeping a "buy" rating on the stock.
To make up for the loss of income from nuclear power
generation, E.ON has been aggressively expanding its renewable
energy business as well as operations in emerging markets.
The company agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Brazil's MPX
Energia in January, teaming up with Brazilian
billionaire Eike Batista to build the largest privately held
network of power plants in Brazil.
CEO Teyssen said E.ON was in talks with potential partners
in India and Turkey.
E.ON, which aims to generate a quarter of core profit
outside Europe by 2015 at the earliest, has long been saying it
is studying opportunities in Brazil, India and Turkey, where
energy demand is growing more rapidly than in its European core
Its shares were up 6.2 percent at 18.14 euros by 1019 GMT,
the stock's biggest intraday gain in six months and
outperforming a 1.1 percent higher blue-chip DAX index.
Traders attributed the steep gain to news that E.ON had also
made headway with the renegotiation of pricey gas contracts that
weighed down earnings in 2011.
Teyssen said E.ON has adjusted contracts with Norway's
Statoil to a level reflecting current market
conditions. E.ON has been bound to high prices in its long-term
contracts with suppliers, while spot prices for gas have fallen
because of oversupply.
Analysts at WestLB said there was no longer a risk that a
further rise in negative gas to oil spreads could torpedo E.ON's
outlook, adding the only major player with whom E.ON still needs
to renegotiate terms is Russia's Gazprom.
E.ON board member Jorgen Kildahl told reporters that the
arbitration process with Gazprom was still ongoing.
E.ON said it expected earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 9.6-10.2 billion euros
this year, up from 9.29 billion in 2011 but below consensus of
10.5 billion in a Reuters poll.
It also confirmed its 2013 outlook for a further increase in
EBITDA to 11.6-12.3 billion, above consensus of 11.4 billion.
Despite the full-year net loss, E.ON plans to pay a 2011
dividend of one euro per share, down by a third from last year.
It said it would pay a dividend of 1.10 euros for 2012, and at
least 1.10 euros for 2013.
($1 = 0.7628 euro)
(Writing by Christoph Steitz and Maria Sheahan; Editing by Dan
Lalor and Will Waterman)