Austrian power group EVN posts lower earnings

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Austrian power group EVN said on Thursday it posted a drop in bottom-line profits in the first half of this year due to lower earnings on investments and higher interest payments.

EVN, which runs its business year from October to September, said in a statement that net profit in the six months to March fell 11.7 percent to 184 million euros ($260 million).

Underlying profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), edged up 1.4 percent to 197.2 million euros on a 0.3-percent rise in sales to 1.63 billion euros.

EVN said its financial result fell by 30.9 percent in the first half as a result of the lower earnings from investments such as the dividend paid by Verbund AG plus higher interest expenses.

EVN along with the municipal utility Wiener Stadtwerke holds a 25-percent stake in Verbund.

Looking ahead, EVN said that on the basis of the first-half performance, "we expect the result from operating activities for the entire 2010/11 financial year to match the previous year's performance, despite the ongoing difficult and uncertain overall business and energy sector environment."

Net profit would "likely be below the comparable prior-year figure."

In the year ended September 2010, EVN booked net profit of 207 million euros, EBIT of 187.3 million euros and sales of 2.75 billion euros.

© 2011 AFP

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