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E.ON expects hit from coronavirus pandemic, keeps 2020 outlook

·1-min read
Electric car parking place with the charging stations is seen at the front of the German utility E.ON headquarters in Essen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German energy firm E.ON <EONGn.DE> on Tuesday said it was not immune to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, expecting a hit of up to 99 million euros ($107 million) in 2020 as power consumption falls.

The news came as E.ON, Europe's largest operator of energy networks, reported first-quarter adjusted operating earnings jumped by nearly a quarter to 1.46 billion euros, boosted by the takeover of the grid and retail assets of Innogy <IGY.DE>.

The group confirmed its outlook for the current year, still expecting adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 3.9-4.1 billion euros, but cautioned this did not include risks from the pandemic that may materialise in the course of the year.

"At the first-quarter mark, however, the pandemic's overall implications for the company cannot yet be reliably estimated," the group said, adding it would invest an additional 500 million in climate-friendly upgrades to energy infrastructure.

More than 80% of E.ON's profits are generated by regulated assets, such as gas and electricity grids, giving it a more resilient business model than industrial groups such as carmakers.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Michelle Martin)