(Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA said higher retail power prices will drive further profit growth this year after 2019 earnings beat estimates.
- Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization may rise as much as 7.8% from the 16.7 billion euros ($18.1 billion) it reported for last year, the state-controlled utility said Friday.
- Last year’s results reflect higher prices in France and the U.K. and a capital gain from the sale of renewable assets, which offset prolonged maintenance shutdowns and unplanned halts at EDF’s aging nuclear plants.
- In 2020, the company expects to benefit from an increase in French regulated electricity tariffs and a potential rebound in domestic nuclear output.
- Yet mild first-quarter temperatures and the retirement of two reactors at Fessenheim could hurt profit margins. That makes it crucial to maintain cost savings as EDF struggles to cover hefty capital-spending commitments with cash flow.
- To keep a lid on debt, EDF has pledged to sell as much as 3 billion euros of assets in the two years to 2020, adding to a previous four-year divestment program. The target includes the sale of shares in CENG, decided on last year and potentially completed in 2021.
- EDF sees 2020 Ebitda in the range of 17.5 billion to 18 billion euros, while analysts estimate 17.6 billion euros.
- The company expects French nuclear production to be between 375 terawatt-hours and 390 terawatt-hours this year, compared with 379.5 terawatt-hours in 2019.
- EDF will pay a 2019 dividend of 48 euro cents a share.
- For more detailed earnings data, click here.
To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at email@example.com, Amanda Jordan
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.