Karlsruhe. Following the review by internationally renowned rating agency Moody's of EnBW's credit rating with a view to a possible downgrade, the company has retained its rating in the A category. The long-term rating was downgraded by one notch from A2 to A3, and the outlook remains "negative". The short-term rating was also downgraded by one notch from Prime-1 to Prime-2. Today's rating decision concludes the downgrade review of EnBW's rating which was announced by Moody's in July 2003. Moody's considered the review necessary after details of the inherited burdens had become known.
According to Moody's, the downgrade reflects the deterioration of EnBW's business and financial risk profile due to substantial investments by the former management in recent years, especially in non-core business segments. Despite the resulting increase in the debt to equity ratio, Moody's certifies that EnBW has a strong liquidity profile.
At the same time, by giving an A category rating to EnBW, Moody's explicitly recognises the efforts of the new management to implement consolidation and reorganisation measures. In this context, particularly mention was made of the reduction of costs under the Top Fit programme, the clear focus of the company on its core business areas, and the planned strengthening of the capital structure. The new Board of Management views the rating decision as confirmation of its intention to position the company in the A category in the long-term by taking these measures. The Board of Management sees this rating as a major success and a vote of confidence and believe it underlines the importance and rightness of the strategy developed to consolidate and reorganise the Group. CEO Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen: "EnBW will fully justify this confidence in its abilities."