Uniper presents shareholders with solid performance in 2017 financial year and proposes attractive dividend
• All financial targets for 2017 financial year achieved
• On course to meet 2018 outlook
• Dividend proposal increases from €0.55 for 2016 to €0.74 for 2017
• Corporate strategy systematically refined
• Uniper Supervisory Board recommends rejection of special audit request
At Uniper SE’s Annual Shareholders Meeting today, CEO Klaus Schäfer presented an operationally and financially solid company. Speaking to shareholders at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany, Schäfer said that “Uniper is making excellent progress. Our unique portfolio, deep technical and commercial expertise, and outstanding team of employees position us well for tomorrow’s energy world. As we promised last year, we again achieved all our financial targets. We’ll continue to work hard and to maintain our solid course. We’re already adapting to the future by systematically refining Uniper’s successful strategy.”
Uniper recorded Adjusted EBIT of €1.1 billion in the 2017 financial year, which was within its announced forecast range of €1 to €1.2 billion. Adjusted funds from operations (Adjusted FFO) of €753 million were up significantly. Uniper intends for investors to share in its positive business performance by proposing to the Annual Shareholders Meeting today that the company pay out a dividend of €271 million for the 2017 financial year, which corresponds to €0.74 per share (2016 financial year: €0.55 per share).
Despite the expected absence of some earnings streams, adverse currency-translation effects, and the late arrival of cold temperatures, after the first quarter all of Uniper’s key figures are in line with its outlook. Uniper posted Adjusted EBIT of €350 million in the first quarter of the 2018 financial year. Adjusted FFO rose by €120 million year on year to €562 million.
Strategy systematically refined
Uniper refined its existing successful strategy and clearly identified future growth areas to enable it to benefit from future developments on energy markets. Uniper sees the direct marketing of its power plants as an increasingly attractive growth area for its European Generation segment. Selling electricity and other energy sources such as process steam from certain plants directly to customers and partners will make Uniper less dependent on revenues from fluctuating energy prices. A good example of this is Uniper’s Scholven power station in Gelsenkirchen, which provides a range of energy sources to nearby chemical producers. Between now and year-end 2022, Uniper intends to gradually convert Scholven from predominantly coal-fired generation to technologically advanced gas-fired cogeneration.
Another key growth area is the strengthening of its midstream gas business, which Uniper intends to further expand regionally and globally. This also includes the company's extensive portfolio of liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is playing an increasingly important role in Asia as well as the United States and Europe. Going forward, Uniper will aim not only to provide customers with LNG fuel but also with individually tailored energy solutions for LNG. For example, Uniper signed a declaration of intent in the United Arab Emirates to supply power plants with LNG and to construct a floating storage and regasification unit.
Growth options for Uniper’s International Power segment include a modernization initiative for older power plants currently being adopted in Russia. Participation in the initiative will be determined by tenders. Capacity payments will provide reliable long-term compensation for the extension of power plants’ operating lives. Uniper is currently reviewing the precise rules for modernization. It expects to make decisions about projects that might participate in the initiative by end of 2018.
Uniper Supervisory Board recommends rejection of special audit request
Last week the Supervisory Board of Uniper decided to recommend to Uniper shareholders to vote against the request by Cornwall (Luxembourg) S.à r.l. for a special audit at today’s Annual Shareholders Meeting. The special audit would look into the activities of the Uniper Management Board in conjunction with the ongoing public takeover offer of Finnish energy company Fortum. Its primary focus would be on the approval of the transaction by Russian agencies. Commenting on the Supervisory Board’s recommendation, the Chairman, Dr. Bernhard Reutersberg, said: “In our view, there is no reason to support the request for a special audit. I am very satisfied with the work of our Management Board and have no reason to doubt the integrity of its actions. The Management Board has developed Uniper very successfully.”
Uniper is a leading international energy company with operations in more than 40 countries and around 12,000 employees. Uniper’s business is to provide a reliable supply of energy and related services. Its main operations include power generation in Europe and Russia and global energy trading. Its headquarters are in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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.