April 26, 2018 / 6:47 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-New wind farms, strong winds boost renewable energy group Orsted

(Adds detail, CEO quote)

COPENHAGEN, April 26 (Reuters) - Danish energy group Orsted on Thursday reported first-quarter core profit above analyst expectations and raised its outlook for the year based on a ramp-up of new offshore wind parks, plus strong winds speeds.

The former DONG Energy reported a 68 percent increase in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 5.5 billion Danish crowns ($899.24 million), topping the 4.03 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters survey.

Profits at the company’s offshore wind farms in operation doubled compared to the same period a year ago, due to a ramp-up of three wind parks in Britain as well as higher wind speeds, it said.

“The offshore wind business has had a strong start to the year with high yields from our operating assets and continued good progress on our construction projects,” said chief executive Henrik Poulsen.

The world’s largest developer of offshore wind increased its EBITDA guidance by 0.5 billion crowns to 12.5-13.5 billion crowns.

The increase was due to an operationally strong start to the year as well and a positive outcome of an arbitration related to a gas purchase contract, it said.

Orsted sold its oil and gas business to Ineos last year and is courting investors interested in green assets, which have received a boost from government policies aimed at protecting the environment.

$1 = 6.1163 Danish crowns Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman

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