Uniper: In line with the revised strategy, dividends are to rise on average by 25 percent per year through 2020
- Increase in dividend proposal to ~€310 million planned for 2018
- Earnings outlook for 2018 from €0.8 to €1.1 billion (Adjusted EBIT)
- CEO Schäfer: Uniper will profit from market upturn
- CFO Delbrück: Continued discipline in investments
Uniper confirms its earnings outlook for the current year with adjusted EBIT in the range of €1.0 to €1.2 billion. CEO Klaus Schäfer and CFO Christopher Delbrück made the announcement during an investor event on Thursday. For the first time, earnings forecasts for 2018 have also been given: Despite the lapse of the earnings contribution of the disposed share in gas field Yuzhno Russkoye as well as the insurance payment for Berezovskaya 3 Uniper expects adjusted EBIT of between €0.8 and €1.1 billion. In addition, the company plans to increase the dividend by 25 percent for next year. For 2018, ~€310 million shall be distributed to shareholders, and €250 million shall be distributed for the current year, as already announced. If the supervisory board and the Annual General Meeting support the proposal, this would mean a dividend increase of 25 percent for the second time running. Until 2020 the dividend shall increase on average by 25 percent per year.
Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer: “We are delivering on our promises. In its first two years, Uniper has reorganized its portfolio and the company as a whole. We’ve made the company more robust by lowering annual costs and by divesting ourselves of activities that aren’t part of our core business. We’ve improved our cash flows. And recently we concluded the sale to OMV of our stake in the Siberian gas field Yuzhno Russkoye. Uniper is ready for its next phase, during which we’ll be directing our attention to specific growth segments.”
Uniper CFO Christopher Delbrück: “We have done everything we announced with respect to earnings performance and dividends and will continue to do so going forward. Uniper has demonstrated outstanding performance on the stock market and presents a great opportunity for investors. Our shareholders will be able to share in this positive trend by continuing to earn significant dividends. These should not only be paid out on a sustainable basis; they shall also increase on average by 25 percent per year through 2020. We will take advantage of any financial scope for new investments in a disciplined manner. We are still clearly aiming at a rating goal of BBB (flat).”
Strategic update concludes first phase of company restructuring
The update on the company’s strategic direction released today is the result of a strategy process during which medium and long-term trends relevant to Uniper were analyzed and measured. It is possible to gauge numerous developments with a high degree of probability until the middle of the next decade. Uniper expects, for example, that the focus of European policy makers on climate goals will mean that security of supply will become a scarce commodity.
According to CEO Klaus Schäfer, Uniper’s power plants, storages, pipelines, and trading positions could allow the company to profit considerably from this situation going forward. Its strong position in the gas industry, in particular, could provide the company with competitive advantages. Outside Europe, demand is growing for reliable and efficient supplies of energy as well as related services. By playing an active role in global energy trading, it will be possible to exploit price differences and trends in demand.
Klaus Schäfer: “Despite continued focus on Europe, we will be paying close attention to the US and Asia in particular – more than we have previously. In all our activities, we want to make optimal use of the opportunities our portfolio presents and selectively expand on them. Growth will occur in an essentially organic fashion. The thorough analysis conducted as part of assessing our strategic direction also clearly showed us that Uniper as an independent enterprise with a strongly cross-linked and valuable portfolio is very well positioned and has excellent prospects vis-à-vis the competition.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Uniper SE management and other information currently available to Uniper. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. Uniper SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.