By Nathan Allen
Germany's Uniper SE (>> Uniper SE) issued earnings guidance for 2018 on Thursday and said it plans to increase its 2018 dividend to 310 million euros ($366.2 million).
Uniper said it expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of between EUR800 million and EUR1.1 billion in 2018, compared with a range of EUR1 billion to EUR1.2 billion for 2017.
The company said it will propose a dividend of EUR310 million euros for 2018--up from EUR250 million in 2017--and that it plans to raise its dividend by an average of 25% a year through to 2020.
Uniper was formed when German utility company E.ON SE (>> E.ON) spun off its conventional energy operations. E.ON has since committed to selling its remaining 47% stake in Uniper to Fortum Oyj (>> Fortum Oyj) and will incur a EUR1.5 billion charge if the deal doesn't go through.
In November Uniper's board recommended that shareholders reject a EUR8.05 billion takeover bid from Fortum, as it didn't think the offer was in the company's best interests.
Shares in Uniper rose by more than 6% on Tuesday after U.S. activist fund Elliott Management Corp. announced it had bought a 5.3% stake in the company. Uniper has since been trading over EUR25.50, far above Fortum's offer of EUR22 a share.
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