January 10 (Renewables Now) - Danish energy company Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED) today said it expects its 2017 operating profit to come in at DKK 22.5 billion (USD 3.6bn/EUR 3bn), above its most recent forecast of about DKK 21 billion.
The offshore wind developer updated its outlook for 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to about DKK 21 billion, from a previously projected range of DKK 19 billion-21 billion, in December, following the sale of a 50% stake in the 450-MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind project in German waters to a fund managed by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).
The new increased EBITDA estimate is based on preliminary and unaudited reporting and comes ahead of the publication of Ørsted's annual report on February 1. It is driven by strong performance of the company's operating offshore wind farms in the last part of the year. This includes stronger winds and faster ramp-up of generation from the 573-MW Race Bank and 659-MW Walney Extension wind farms in the UK, Ørsted said.
The company also benefited from better-than-expected earnings from partnership agreements because of good progress and lower costs on the construction contracts for these two wind farms.
A third factor behind the higher EBITDA forecast is better-than-expected earnings from Ørsted's gas portfolio activities in Distribution & Customer Solutions due to in part to a positive effect from the value of gas in storage during the last part of 2017.
(DKK 1 = USD 0.160/EUR 0.134)