The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of German energy-based utility company Uniper decreased to €203 million in the first nine months of 2019, from €386 million for the same period of last year, the company said on Tuesday.
Uniper said the year-on-year decline of €183 million was anticipated but nonetheless it expects a strong fourth quarter.
"Uniper’s operating earnings in the first nine months of 2019 were adversely affected primarily by the non-recurrence of positive effects recorded in the prior year, lower output at a small number of power plants, and the absence of income from the U.K. capacity market," the company said adding that it raised its earnings forecast for the 2019 financial year, particularly because of the reinstatement of the U.K. capacity market.
The company now expects its adjusted EBIT to be between €750 and €950 million, revised up from its original estimate of between €550 and €850 million.
Uniper CFO Sascha Bibert said: "In our business, the third quarter is usually the weakest. In view of the non-recurrence of positive effects recorded in the prior year, our nine-month earnings don’t surprise and are line with our expectations."
Bibert also underlined that a strong fourth quarter lies ahead and says it will be one that will have a number of positive developments for Uniper's business.
"These include price and volume effects at our hydro and nuclear power stations and additional optimization earnings at our gas business. In addition, the reinstatement of the U.K. capacity market enables us to make claims for back payments, which will have a positive impact on our 2019 earnings. We also expect our cash flow to be significantly positive and therefore our debt to be lower," Bibert noted.
Uniper recorded a net income of €1,056 million in the first nine months of 2019 compared with the -€521 million in the first nine months of 2018.
"The year-on-year increase is principally attributable to positive effects resulting from the marking to market of commodity derivatives at the balance-sheet date. Uniper uses derivatives to shield its power and gas business from price fluctuations," the company said.
By Murat Temizer