* Sees 2017 adj EBITDA at 5.4-5.7 bln eur vs 5.2 bln poll
* No comment on report Engie weighing bid for Innogy unit
* Confirms can in principle cut Innogy stake to 51 pct
(Adds details on Innogy, CEO comment)
ESSEN, Germany, March 14 German utility RWE
on Tuesday forecast rising profits for 2017, boosted
by its volatile trading division as well as Innogy, its
networks, retail and renewables unit that has become the subject
of takeover speculation.
RWE expects core earnings (adjusted EBITDA) to reach 5.4 to
5.7 billion euros ($5.8-6.1 billion) this year, compared with
5.4 billion in 2016 and more than the 5.2 billion average
forecast in a Reuters poll.
The company on Tuesday reiterated it would not comment on a
report by Bloomberg saying that French energy group Engie
was weighing a bid for Innogy, in which RWE
holds a 76.8 percent stake.
RWE said it could in principle sell Innogy shares and
thereby reduce its stake to 51 percent, in line with its goal of
keeping a majority in the unit in the long-term to benefit from
its stable dividend payments.
"There are no further corporate decisions in place in this
context," RWE said.
Innogy, listed by RWE last year in Germany's biggest IPO
since 2000, is a key source of income for struggling parent RWE.
It proposed a payout of 1.60 euros per share on Monday, at the
upper end of its range.
RWE meanwhile last month cancelled its dividend for ordinary
shares for the second year in a row, and Chief Executive Rolf
Martin Schmitz said on Tuesday it would not be a good idea to
pay out dividends by going into debt or selling Innogy shares.
($1 = 0.9384 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan)