EVN turnover drops as gas price hike is imminent

Lower Austrian energy sector giant EVN AG has suffered a slight decline in turnover despite selling more electricity and gas to customers in the past winter.

The firm announced today (Thurs) its turnover slid by 0.9 per cent to 2.16 billion Euros from the first three quarters of the 2009/2010 business year to the next business year. Its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) climbed at the same time by 9.8 per cent to 213.2 million Euros.

EVN produced 1,189 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in the first three quarters of the 2010/2011 business year, according to its new performance report. The company – which operates across Southeast Europe – announced ambitious investment plans today. EVN explained it wanted to spend 800 million Euros in the coming nine years to increase so-called renewable energy to 50 per cent.

EVN put Bulgaria’s largest photovoltaic plant in operation last month. The facility is situated near the city of Burgas. Already last year, the Austrian company spent three million Euros on another solar energy site in the Eastern European (EE) country which joined the European Union (EU) in 2004.

EVN has more than 2,500 employees in Austria and another 5,700 abroad. Its workforce shrank by almost five per cent in the past months. EVN is headed by Peter Layr. The businessman, who has been a member of the firm’s board for over 11 years, succeeded Burkhard Hofer in January. Hofer’s decision to retire came as a surprise to analysts.

The provincial government of Lower Austria holds a 51 per cent stake in EVN which has its headquarters in Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna. One EVN share was worth 11.30 Euros on the Prime Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) at 2pm today.

EVN announced last week it would charge its 290,000 Austrian customers 3.6 per cent more for gas from October. Information about an increase of rates was issued on the back of news that Austrian households had to fork out 10 per cent more for the same amount of gas last month than in July 2010. Federal statistic agency Statistik Austria revealed the price of heating oil rose by 16 per cent at the same time. Only in April, EVN increased the price of gas by 8.9 per cent.