Karlsruhe. According to the Annual Report of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG published in Karlsruhe on Thursday, the Group increased sales revenues (without electricity tax) by 10.1 percent (797 million euros) in fiscal 2002 to 8.66 billion euros. Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up by 451.4 million euros on the previous year to 1.48 billion euros, equivalent to an increase of 43.8 percent. The lower growth of earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) - up 256.5 million euros to 561.7 million euros- and earnings before taxes (EBT) - up 110.5 million euros to 406.6 million euros- is the result of higher depreciation and increased financing costs. "Fiscal 2002 was influenced by a difficult economic scenario and extraordinary burdens such as the deconsolidation of former EnBW subsidiary tesion. However, these effects were offset by one-off earnings", EnBW CEO Gerhard Goll explained at the balance sheet press conference in Karlsruhe. Consolidated net income for the year was nevertheless three percent higher than in the previous year at 280 million euros.
"The balance sheet reflects not only the continuing success of EnBW in the market in what was a bleak year for the economy overall but also the successful growth strategy implemented in recent years", said Goll. The CEO of EnBW said that the sales growth was primarily underpinned by the first-time consolidation of the Spanish company Hidroeléctrica del Cantábrico S.A., Zementwerk Lauffen - Elektrizitätswerk Heilbronn AG, and the Swiss EnAlpin Group as well as the successful sales activities of EnBW. The sales growth was generated almost exclusively in EnBW´s core business area of energy. Electricity sales increased by 12.1 percent to 109.1 billion kWh, with the biggest growth coming in the Interconnection Companies/Trading sector, where the sales volume rose by 5.7 billion kWh to 30.5 billion kWh. This is equivalent to growth of 22.9 percent. Sales to private customers were up by 18.1 percent to 22.2 billion kWh, with supplies to industrial customers showing an increase of 14.8 percent to 39.6 billion kWh. Accordingly, the revenue from power sales of Germany's third-largest energy company grew by around 15.8 percent or 833 million euros to 6.09 billion euros.
The gas sales of the EnBW Group increased by 16 percent year-on-year to 21 billion kWh. The CEO said that EnBW had successfully achieved its strategic goal of strengthening its position in the gas market last year through the acquisition of a majority stake in Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS) together with Eni.
EnBW not only increased its energy sales but also the number of energy customers. At the end of 2002, EnBW supplied energy to around 4.85 million customers, putting it in third place in the league table of German energy companies.
EnBW also increased its sales revenues in its other business areas in 2002. The Waste Disposal division posted sales of 268 million euros in fiscal 2002, equivalent to year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent. The Industry and Services division was affected by the deconsolidation of tesion Communikationsnetze Südwest GmbH & Co. KG last year, and this resulted in a scheduled and expected decline in telecommunications sales. Overall, 2002 sales in this business area were up by 2 million euros on the previous year at 1.5 billion euros.
As of December 31, 2002, EnBW employed 38,493 people throughout Europe, a decrease of 6,007 on 2001. This decline is mainly due to the deconsolidation of the DIW Group.
"Our strategy of active partnership and investment is key to the positive development of the company and the excellent market position of EnBW. Following a phase of strong growth, we are now entering a period of consolidation and integration", Goll emphasised. Having successfully concluded numerous investments last year, EnBW will now continue to pursue its policy of revenue growth and to develop its business activities based on a customer-friendly strategy.
The ratings awarded by agencies Standard & Poor´s (long term: A+/stable outlook, short term: A-1) and Moody´s (long term: A2/stable outlook, short term: Prime-1) remained unchanged throughout fiscal 2002. "In order to further strengthen the excellent market position of EnBW and underpin the confidence of the capital markets, we intend to implement a systematic programme to ensure wide-ranging earnings growth in the coming years. The aim of this programme is to increase the earnings strength of EnBW in its core business area in the longer term", said Dr. Balzereit, CFO of EnBW.
"It should be taken into consideration that the listed EnBW results have been compiled in accordance with HGB accounting principles for the last time. The HGB method differs from the practices used for balance sheet preparation at EDF. From 2003, EnBW will draw up the financial statements in accordance with IFRS. Due to the specific corporate structures, this may result in a markedly lower figure for earnings after taxes", added Balzereit.
The Supervisory and Management Boards will propose distribution of a dividend of 0.66 euro per EnBW share for fiscal 2002 to the Annual General Meeting.