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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Italian Stock Exchange  >  Enel    ENEL   IT0003128367

ENEL

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Germany's RWE to keep struggling coal-fired plants as exit nears

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03/14/2019 | 07:29am EDT
Brown coal fired power plants of RWE, one of Europe's biggest utilities in Neurath near Cologne

FRANKFURT/ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) - Utility RWE is sticking with its coal power plants, its chief executive said on Thursday, holding out for more compensation under a German landmark plan to abandon the fuel in exchange for payments.

By Christoph Steitz and Tom Käckenhoff

Under proposals hammered out by a government-appointed commission earlier this year, Germany is to fully phase out coal as an energy source by 2038, hitting operators of such plants including RWE, Germany's largest electricity producer.

The plan foresees that 3 gigawatts (GW) of lignite capacity need to be shut down by 2023 in Germany, a move that could cause 2,700 job losses at RWE, CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz said at the group's annual press conference.

"It is clear that compensation for shutting down additional power plants will have to be much higher than in the past," Schmitz said, adding that 1.2 billion-1.5 billion euros (1.3 billion pounds) per GW to be shut down early would be adequate.

The proposals do not specify compensation levels, leaving them to negotiations between operators and the government.

Schmitz said there were no talks about selling any coal-fired power stations, nor were there any plans to do so, adding it would not be easy to keep their profitability stable. RWE operates 16.8 GW worth of coal-fired plants.

RWE is in the process of taking over the renewable activities of rival E.ON and subsidiary Innogy, turning it into Europe's No.3 green energy group behind Spain's Iberdrola and Italy's Enel.

At the same time, a decline in profitability at its conventional power plants is one of the reasons the group forecast core earnings could fall by up to a fifth this year to 1.2 billion-1.5 billion euros ($1.4-$1.7 billion).

In 2018, core profit fell 29 percent to 1.5 billion euros in 2018. Adjusted net income is seen at 300-600 million euros this year, compared with 591 million in 2018.

Shares in the company were up 0.5 percent at 1125 GMT after falling as much as 3.5 percent earlier.

Jefferies analysts said the core earnings guidance was 8 percent below consensus, adding it could be partly explained by higher costs for IT and the pending integration of the renewable units of E.ON and Innogy.

"But the driver for the remaining difference is unclear to us, and so it is difficult to say if the 8 percent miss is on an underlying basis or a more conservative stance from the management," they wrote.

(Additional reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu/Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

By Christoph Steitz and Tom Käckenhoff

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
E.ON SE -0.46% 9.332 Delayed Quote.8.67%
ENEL -1.42% 5.68 End-of-day quote.14.23%
IBERDROLA -0.43% 8.264 End-of-day quote.18.27%
INNOGY SE -0.37% 40.32 Delayed Quote.-0.64%
RWE -1.59% 22.97 Delayed Quote.23.07%
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Financials (€)
Sales 2019 78 637 M
EBIT 2019 11 076 M
Net income 2019 4 738 M
Debt 2019 43 913 M
Yield 2019 5,64%
P/E ratio 2019 12,32
P/E ratio 2020 11,25
EV / Sales 2019 1,30x
EV / Sales 2020 1,28x
Capitalization 58 580 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 6,05 €
Spread / Average Target 5,0%
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Managers
NameTitle
Francesco Starace Chief Executive Officer, Director & GM
Maria Patrizia Grieco Chairman
Alberto de Paoli Chief Financial Officer & Head-Administration
Angelo Taraborrelli Independent Director
Alberto Bianchi Independent Director
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