February 15, 2018 / 3:44 PM / 6 days ago

Innogy says profit shortfall report 'without foundation'

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Innogy (IGY.DE) confirmed its outlook for this year on Thursday, dismissing a report saying the German energy group would earn up to 400 million euros (354.76 million pounds) less in annual pre-tax profit, which sent its shares lower.

Shares in the group recovered some of their losses but still traded around 2.7 percent lower. Parent company RWE’s (RWEG.DE) shares were down 2.5 percent. RWE has a 76.8 percent stake in Innogy.

Germany’s Manager Magazin, without citing sources, said “controllers” had identified a pre-tax profit shortfall of 1.5-2 billion euros at Innogy over the next five years.

“The figures mentioned are without foundation. We have given an outlook for 2018. It still stands,” a spokesman for Innogy said in an emailed statement, adding the group would publish full-year results for 2017 on March 12 as planned.

Innogy expects adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 2.7 billion euros this year, down from an expected 2.8 billion in 2017. Adjusted net income is seen at more than 1.1 billion euros in 2018, compared with more than 1.2 billion in 2017.

    Innogy, which warned on profits in December and lost its Chief Executive Peter Terium a week later, has not given an outlook beyond 2018.

    Manager Magazin, citing company insiders, also said that Innogy might have to book writedowns on acquisitions, including on solar and battery group Belectric, which the group bought in 2016 for a high double-digit million euro sum.

    Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Edward Taylor and Kirsten Donovan

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