May 14, 2020 / 5:28 AM / 22 days ago

Shrugging off coronavirus, RWE posts profit rise on strong winds

FILE PHOTO: High-voltage lines are seen in front of the lignite-fired Niederaussem power station of RWE, one of Europe's biggest electricity companies in Niederaussem, north-west of Cologne, Germany, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, on Thursday reported a 19% increase in first-quarter adjusted core earnings, as strong winds and new capacity boosted its renewable activities.

The group also confirmed its outlook for 2020 as well as plans to pay dividends for both 2019 and this year, adding it had no plans to apply for state aid or to put staff on short-time work as the coronavirus pandemic only had a limited impact.

“RWE got off to a good start to the year. Thanks to our robust business model, we posted significant gains across all key earnings figures even in these challenging times,” finance chief and future CEO Markus Krebber said.

First-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation climbed to 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), and the group confirmed plans to pay dividends of 0.80 euros and 0.85 euros per share for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

RWE a day earlier was excluded from Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund due to the coal-fired power plants it still operates, a decision it criticised, pointing to its strong position in the area of renewables.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Michelle Martin

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