May 15, 2019 / 6:05 AM / 12 days ago

RWE beats first quarterforecasts on strong trading performance

FILE PHOTO: RWE logo in Essen, Germany, March 14, 2017. Reuters/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - RWE, Germany’s largest electricity producer, on Wednesday, posted higher-than-expected profit for the first quarter, boosted by its volatile commodity trading unit.

On a standalone basis, which excludes operational contributions from its Innogy subsidiary, RWE’s first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 70% to 510 million euros ($571 million).

Analyst had, on an average, forecast 302 million euros.

“This was due to the strong performance of trading business, which improved considerably compared to the weak first-quarter of 2018,” RWE said in a statement, also confirming plans to pay a dividend of 0.80 euros per share for 2019.

RWE is currently in the process of acquiring the renewable energy assets of subsidiary Innogy and rival E.ON as part of a larger asset swap, a move that will turn it into Europe’s third-largest player in the field.

Supply & Trading, which also optimizes power plants to increase their efficiency and profitability, posted adjusted EBITDA of 255 million euros, accounting for half of the first-quarter total.

RWE confirmed the unit’s 2019 outlook of 100-300 million euros in adjusted EBITDA, noting the substantial fluctuation it usually shows over the year, but said it would likely end up at the upper end of the year.

($1 = 0.8925 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Thomas Seythal & Uttaresh.V

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