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05 Apr 2019 | 07:43

ContourGlobal hikes dividend despite profit slump; appoints Stefan Schellinger as CFO

Electricity producer ContourGlobal appointed Stefan Schellinger as CFO and hiked its dividend despite reporting a slump in pre-profits amid lower wind production and one-off costs. Schellinger was expected to join the company on 15 April 2019. For 2018, profit before tax fell to £27.8m from £40.6m a year earlier and revenue grew 23% to $1,253m. Adjusted earnings (EBITDA) was up 19% to $610m, in line with expectations, reflecting growth achieved from acquisitions, the $20.9m cash gain on sell down of minority stakes in Italy and Slovakia. But this was off-set by lower wind production as the repowering -- a process that involves replacing older wind towers and turbines with newer technology – of its old portfolio of wind assets reduced the number of turbines from ten to four.

Profits were also weighed down by a one-off costs including a bad debt provision of $6.4m and restructuring costs of $6.7m. The company proposed a final dividend for 2018 of 9.4 USD cents per share, equating to a full year 2018 dividend of $90m, an increase of 12.5% on the previous $80m dividend guidance for the year ended 31 December 2018.

Going forward, the dividend was expected to be increased by 10% growth rate each year and the company said it was targeting an expected adjusted EBITDA growth rate of 15%-20% per annum.

For 2019, adjusted EBITDA was guided in range of $720 - $770m.

'We continue to make progress on our target to double run-rate 2017 Adjusted EBITDA by 2022 through profitable, selective growth and high-performance operations, the company said.

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