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UPDATE 1-DONG Energy lifts earnings forecast after wind farm stake sale
December 21, 2016 / 2:23 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-DONG Energy lifts earnings forecast after wind farm stake sale

(Adds comments from CEOs, details)

COPENHAGEN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Danish utility and wind farm developer DONG Energy, whose listing in June was one of the biggest IPOs globally this year, raised its full-year earnings forecast on Wednesday, helped by the sale of a stake in its UK offshore wind farm.

The company increased its forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to 24-25 billion Danish crowns ($3.37-$3.51 billion) from 20-23 billion previously. It also estimated gross investment would be in the lower end of a 18-21 billion range.

“We have had a really good year in DONG Energy and made significant strategic and operational progress in all business units,” chief executive Henrik Poulsen said in a statement.

The increase in guidance was partly triggered by the sale of a 50 percent in the 573 megawatt Race Bank wind farm in Britain to Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Macquarie Capital - parts of Australia-listed Macquarie Group.

Profits from selling the stake would amount to 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion), DONG said.

“We have seen a high level of interest from a number of potential investors in Race Bank. This proves that our partnership model continues to be attractive,” chief executive of the company’s wind power unit, Samuel Leupold, said in a statement.

DONG also said the earnings upgrade was due to strong operational performance and cost reductions in its oil and gas unit, which the company intends to sell, potentially to Danish group A.P. Moller-Maersk.

DONG shares jumped as much as 4.8 percent after the announcement, and were up 2.5 percent at 253 crowns at 1415 GMT.

($1 = 7.1278 Danish crowns)

$1 = 0.8079 pounds Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Mark Potter

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