Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/05/2013

Operator: Welcome to the conference call of RWE's Fiscal 2012 Results with Peter Terium and Dr. Bernhard Gunther. I will now hand over to Dr. Stephan Lowis.

Dr. Stephan Lowis - VP, IR: Good afternoon to everyone who has joined us today via telephone or webcast for our full year 2012 results presentation and strategy update. I'm joined here by Peter Terium and Bernhard Gunther, and as usual, I would like to cut it short and directly hand over to Peter.

Peter Terium - CEO: Yes, thank you Stephan and good afternoon to everyone who has joined us today via telephone or webcast. We have kept the presentation as brief as possible. While there are currently many challenges for utilities, we believe you are all well aware of them and are more interested in RWE's strategy to address them and it also allows us to give more time for Q&A.

Let me go through the milestones of 2012 before heading straight into our response to the challenging market environment. I'll give you a brief review of the year. First, with regards to the financial performance. I'm pleased to report that we have delivered on our guidance, the guidance which we upgraded at our Q3 results. Both EBITDA and operating results improved by 10%. Recurrent net income was on par with 2011. This was mainly due to a lower financial result. Bernhard will elaborate on this later on.

Over the course of last year, we have made progress on our divestment program. We have achieved some EUR2.1 billion in asset disposals. The clear focus was value preservation in order to minimize earnings dilution. A further benefit was the reduction of some future CapEx requirements. However, let me come to our current plans a little later.

We have also successfully continued the renegotiation of our long-term oil-index gas contracts, more so than (witnessed) in our initial guidance for 2012 which did not foresee a settlement with Statoil for last year. All solutions are fully structural and include compensation payments for past losses. After the conclusion of the price revision with GasTerra later last year, there is only one counterparty, namely Gazprom, remaining with who we are still in the price review proceedings. As you are aware, these are (in fund of) international of an arbitration tribunal and we expect a conclusion in the first half of this year. We have finalized our 2012 efficiency program, which brought an accumulated EUR1.5 billion compared to 2006. Our new efficiency enhancement program is also well on track, with all operational measures identified and already bearing first fruits last year. More on that in a moment.

Finally, we can confirm our outlook for 2013 that we have given in March 2012. We will spend some time going into details of our guidance later on. However, with increasingly volatile market conditions, we have decided to refrain from any longer-term financial guidance at this point. We will provide updates on the divisional targets for 2014 of RWE Dea and RWE Energy. For the rest of the business, we are also going to give some qualitative commentary on the operational outlook post 2013, but do not expect us to underpin this with specific numbers.

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