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EVN ANNOUNCES INTERIM RESULTS AND LOOKS FORWARD TO ENERGY PRIVATIZATION DEVELOPMENTS IN EASTERN EUROPE

 VIENNA, Austria, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- EVN (Energie-Versorgung Niederosterreich), one of Austria's leading gas and electricity utilities, today announced interim results for the six months ended February 28, 1994.
 Interim Highlights
 -- Moderate Growth in Sales -- Despite a mild winter -- the warmest for five years -- and a struggling Austrian economy, electricity and heating sales rose respectively by 2.0% and 18.5% when compared to the 1992/93 period. While sales of natural gas to the local network increased by 3.8% and sales to industrial consumers also increased, this was offset by reduced demand from third-party power stations due to favorable hydroelectric production conditions with river water levels high.
 -- And in Revenue -- Reflecting the growth in sales, overall energy revenue for the period under review increased in all business areas by 1.9%.
 -- An Improved Earnings Performance -- The result from ordinary operations, at ATS 1,278 million, is 7.3% higher than for the comparable period in 1992/93. This is due to the increases in revenue but also to continuing strict cost management and to efficient management of financial resources in favorable market conditions.
 -- And Strong Share Price Performance -- During the period under review the EVN share was the most heavily traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange, with turnover at ATS 19 billion. Between September 1, 1993 and February 28, 1994, the period under review, the EVN share price moved from ATS 1,100 to ATS 1,596, an improvement of 45% and outperforming the Vienna stock market as a whole.
 Also during this period, at the beginning of February, the millionth ADR (American Depositary Receipt) was issued. Approximately 2.5% of EVN's share capital is now held in ADRs.
 Other Highlights
 -- Developments in the Czech Republic
 In 1994 EVN has signed cooperation agreements with two Czech energy companies, both of which are based in Brno, Southern Moravia, bordering on EVN's supply area in Austria. The two companies are the natural gas supplier JMP and the electricity supplier JME. Both became joint-stock companies at the beginning of 1994 and are candidates for privatization in the forthcoming wave of privatizations in that country. A similar agreement was concluded in 1992 with the JCE, the Southern Bohemian electricity supply company, which is also a privatization candidate and whose supply area borders on EVN's.
 -- Rating of EVN by S&P and Moody's
 Seeking to further optimize its financing structure in the context of a low interest rate environment, EVN has undertaken to be rated, on an indicative basis, by the leading two agencies, Standard & Poor's and Moody's.
 Completed last week S&P rated EVN's senior unsecured long-term debt at "AA+," while Moody's rated EVN at "Aa3."
 Future Prospects
 Commenting on the interim and on future prospects, the Chairman of EVN, Dr. Rudolf Gruber, said:
 "Given the economic and climatic conditions prevailing during the first half of our financial year, I would describe our performance as solid. While our industry is typically subject to considerable seasonable variations which render any extrapolation to the full year an inappropriate exercise, I would say that we have laid the foundation for a sound performance in fiscal 1993/94.
 "Turning to developments in our neighboring countries, in particular the Czech Republic and Hungary. Our cooperation agreement with Czech utilities complement a long-standing similar agreement with the Hungarian gas supply company, Degaz. We are hopeful that an agreement of a similar type on the electricity side will be concluded in the near future.
 "These agreements represent a preparatory step in a process which we hope will lead to EVN taking a stake in one or more of these companies, the relevant authorities in both countries have been informed of our interest. Recent developments on the privatization of the energy industry in our neighboring countries are most encouraging for the future and represent a key strategic opportunity for EVN."
 -0- 4/18/94
 /CONTACT: Wolfgang Christl, Treasurer, 43-22-36-200-2400, or Georg Male, Investor Relations, 43-22-36-200-2734, both of EVN; or Andrew Dewar, or Louise Inwood of Dewe Rogerson in London, 44-71-638-9571; or Felicia Vonella of Dewe Rogerson in New York, 212-688-6840; or Camille de Wounters of Dewe Rogerson in Paris, 33-1-42-60-12-22/
 /FIRST ADD AND FINAL -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/


CO: Energie-Versorgung Niederosterreich ST: IN: UTI SU: ERN

MP-PS -- NY030 -- 7601 04/18/94 09:57 EDT
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Date:Apr 18, 1994
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