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RWE shares hit four-and-a-half-year high on outlook lift

The headquarters of the German power supplier RWE is pictured in Essen, Germany, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - RWE RWEG.DE, Germany's largest electricity producer, on Tuesday raised its profit outlook for 2019 due to a stronger-than-expected performance at its volatile energy trading unit.

Shares in the utility rose as much as 3.3% after the news, hitting their highest since Dec. 22, 2014. At 0734 GMT, they were up 1.4%, the second-best performer among German blue-chip stocks .GDAXI.

RWE’s Supply & Trading unit achieved core earnings of more than 400 million euros ($445 million) in the first six months of 2019, the utility said in a statement ahead of first-half results scheduled for Aug. 14.

For the whole group, RWE now expects adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 1.4 billion to 1.7 billion euros ($1.6-$1.9 billion), while adjusted net income is seen at 0.5 billion to 0.8 billion euros.

This compares with a previous outlook for 1.2 billion to 1.5 billion euros of adjusted EBITDA and 0.3 billion to 0.6 billion euros for adjusted net income.

($1 = 0.8981 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Thomas Seythal