E.ON: innovative products for growth, attractive dividends
- Healthy core business serves as platform for future growth in new energy world
- Dividend of 21 cents per share for 2016, increase of 40 percent to 30 cents per share planned for 2017
- Forecast for full-year 2017 affirmed
- Net debt reduced, equity strengthened
“We’re our customers’ partner of choice in the new energy world. Innovative products will enable us to create growth for E.ON and to pay attractive dividends to our shareholders.” CEO Johannes Teyssen used these words to describe E.ON’s ambitions while speaking today at the company’s first Annual Shareholders Meeting after the Uniper spinoff. He added that putting customers at the center of everything E.ON does and marketing attractive offerings for the new energy world will make the company an interesting investment for shareholders. Since spinning off its conventional generation and global commodity trading business last September, E.ON has been fully focused on its core businesses: energy networks, customer solutions, and renewables.
“The new energy world is full of opportunities and possibilities for our customers. They want to produce energy more cheaply and more ecologically and to share it with others. When it comes to energy, they want to decide for themselves. All of this is made possible by new technologies and energy partners like E.ON who can provide customers with innovative products and services,” Teyssen said to shareholders in the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany.
Green, decentrally produced electricity: modernizing engine for the economy
Teyssen described green, decentrally produced electricity as the modernizing engine for the entire economy in the decades ahead. The only way to produce the amount of energy needed for mobility, heat, and cooling and for this energy to be sustainable, local, and affordable is for it to be electricity. Policymakers need to wake up to this fact. “Policymakers have the opportunity to put the energy transition back on its feet, to extend it to all energy sectors, to rethink and reorganize it from the customer’s perspective, and, from now on, to make its financing fair and just. Green electricity has the potential to make domestic economies more efficient and climate policies more successful,” Teyssen said.
Three core businesses serve as platform for future growth
E.ON wants to be the partner of choice for new energy solutions for residential customers, small and medium-sized enterprises, industrial companies, and municipalities. The company builds on its three core businesses, which offer technical synergies in the new energy world: modern regional energy networks, innovative and individually tailored customer solutions, and efficient renewables assets. E.ON’s main focus is on distributed generation, energy efficiency, and energy management.
E.ON now offers residential customers innovative solar packages that include a battery storage system. In addition, solar power producers can use the E.ON SolarCloud to store their output in a virtual power account and draw on it at any time. In early May, E.ON, in partnership with Google, launched a digital platform called Sunroof, which makes it easier for customers to plan a solar system for their residence. Sunroof can assess the solar potential of 7 million buildings in Germany, quickly and easily.
In its B2B business, E.ON provides innovative solutions to numerous multinational corporations and has full order books. For example, E.ON has delivered comprehensive energy solutions based on fuel cells for customers like the Radisson Blu hotel group and materials manufacturer Friatec. E.ON’s embedded-generation solutions have enabled energy company Evonik, beverage maker San Benedetto, retailer Metro, and glass specialist Pilkington to reduce their energy consumption by up to 50 percent and their carbon emissions by up to 40 percent.
Municipal customers benefit from E.ON’s broad range of energy experience, which the company uses to develop and deliver integrated energy and heating solutions for entire city districts. E.ON’s smart city solutions are at work in the “Werksviertel” in Munich and the Hyllie district of Malmo, Sweden. Solutions like this along with new, high-margin products and services are strengthening the new E.ON’s earnings profile in a lasting way, Teyssen said, enabling it to use its strong core business as a platform for growth.
Dividend increase of 40 percent planned for 2017 financial year
E.ON’s 2016 Annual Report wiped the slate clean from an accounting perspective and enabled the company to put the past behind it. E.ON posted first-quarter adjusted EBIT of just over €1 billion, and adjusted net income of €525 million. As anticipated, its first-quarter performance was in line with its forecast for full-year 2017, which the company unequivocally affirmed. “We’ve already traveled good distance on the road to a new E.ON,” Teyssen said. “It’s very important to the Management Board that our shareholders benefit from the progress your company is making in implementing its new strategy. We’re therefore going to propose to the Annual Shareholders Meeting that E.ON pay a dividend of 21 cents per share for the 2016 financial year. And we intend to increase the dividend for the current financial year by more than 40 percent to 30 cents per share.”
“We have a clear roadmap for guiding the new E.ON into the future,” Teyssen emphasized. “We’re going to reduce E.ON’s debt and strengthen its equity. The capital increase in March was already an important step in that direction. The demand for the new stock was strong, and the roughly €1.35 billion in proceeds is a good result. Our other measures are also moving forward briskly. At the same time, we’re doing everything we can to unleash new potential in our core business and to offer the kind of innovative products that will make us customers’ company of choice in Europe. We will continue along this course resolutely with clearly defined steps to strengthen our core business and with an outstanding team that meets challenges head-on, enabling us to create value for our customers and our shareholders.”