RWE remains right on track after the first three quarters of fiscal 2017

Essen, 14 November 2017

  • Earnings clearly up year on year: adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income rise by €354 million and €649 million, respectively 
  • Full-year forecast for 2017 confirmed at the upper end of the range
  • Net debt reduced significantly, declining by about €3.3 billion

Dr. Markus Krebber, CFO of RWE AG: "We are very satisfied with this year's business performance so far: earnings in the trading business have returned to a good level. European Power is performing much better in operating terms. We reduced debt significantly, and our rating has stabilised. RWE has regained the power to shape itself."

RWE remains right on track after the first nine months of fiscal 2017. From January to September, the Group posted adjusted EBITDA (adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €4.2 billion, compared to €3.8 billion in the same period in 2016. 

Net income amounted to €2.2 billion after €11 million in last year's corresponding period. This was due to the good operating business performance, a substantially improved financial result and the nuclear fuel tax refund. Adjusted net income, which excludes all exceptional items and the nuclear fuel tax refund, totalled €876 million. This represents an increase of €649 million. 

The Group confirms its outlook: management continues to anticipate adjusted EBITDA of 
€5.4 billion to €5.7 billion and adjusted net income of €1.0 billion to €1.3 billion. The company expects to reach the upper end of the aforementioned ranges.

Lignite & Nuclear: earnings decline due to drop in electricity prices
In the first three quarters of 2017, adjusted EBITDA in the Lignite & Nuclear segment decreased to €551 million (previous year: €634 million). This was primarily due to the year-on-year decline in realised wholesale electricity prices. The abolition of the nuclear fuel tax as well as the current efficiency-enhancement programme and lower cost of restructuring measures partially offset this.

European Power: better year on year in operating terms
Adjusted EBITDA amounted to €324 million (previous year: €413 million). The decline was mainly due to exceptional items recorded in 2016 that did not recur this year. In operating terms, the segment fared better than in the same period last year. Hard coal-fired power stations remain under pressure. By contrast, the margins and dispatch times of gas-fired power plants exceeded expectations. The ongoing efficiency-enhancing programme also had a positive impact on this segment. In addition, RWE posted a one-off gain of a medium double-digit million euro amount from the sale of a power plant site in the United Kingdom.

Supply & Trading: revenue returns to normal level
Adjusted EBITDA in the Supply & Trading segment totalled €201 million (previous year: -€97 million). The business trend was thus back in line with expectations. We expect our energy trading operations to generate an average of about €200 million in annual revenues over the medium term.

innogy: earnings slightly improved
innogy, our financial investment, improved its adjusted EBITDA by 5 %. innogy anticipates that it will close the year as a whole moderately up on 2016. Details of the earnings situation were published as part of the reporting on the third quarter on 13 November.

Net debt reduced by €3.3 billion
As of 30 September 2017, the RWE Group had €19.5 billion in net debt, €3.3 billion less than at the end of 2016. This was predominantly due to the positive development of earnings, the nuclear fuel tax refund and lower pension obligations. As before, RWE expects net debt at the end of 2017 to be below the €22.7 billion recorded in 2016.

'RWE stand-alone' key figures: adjusted net income improves to €930 million
In 2017, RWE began supplementing its fully consolidated reporting with additional key figures for 'RWE stand-alone'. This encompasses the Lignite & Nuclear, European Power and Supply & Trading divisions as well as innogy's dividend and reveals the sources of available free cash flow that forms the basis for the dividend.

Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income of 'RWE stand-alone' amounted to €1.7 billion and €930 million, respectively. These figures include innogy's dividend for 2016. Net debt directly allocable to RWE more than halved, totalling €3.4 billion as of 30 September 2017.

In light of the current political debate, RWE CFO Markus Krebber is calling for the equitable pursuit of the goals of climate protection, competitiveness and security of supply. "Germany is among the countries with the highest level of industrial value added in the world. The basis for this is a secure and affordable supply of energy. This is indispensable to the acceptance of the energy transition."

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements reflect the current assessments, expectations and assumptions of the management and are based on the information available to the management at the current time. Forward-looking statements provide no assurance that future events or developments will occur and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. As a result of various factors, actual future events and developments may differ materially from the expectations and assumptions expressed in this publication. In particular, these factors include changes in the general economic environment and the competitive situation. Above and beyond this, developments on the financial markets, fluctuations in exchange rates, changes to national and international law, especially with regard to tax regulations, and other factors can influence the future results and performance of the Company. Neither the Company nor any of its associated companies undertake to update the statements contained in this press release.