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RWE, Germany's largest electricity producer, on Wednesday, posted higher-than-expected profit for the first quarter, boosted by its volatile commodity trading unit.
On a standalone basis, which excludes operational contributions from its Innogy subsidiary, RWE's first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 70% to 510 million euros ($571 million).
Analyst had, on an average, forecast 302 million euros. "This was due to the strong performance of trading business, which improved considerably compared to the weak first-quarter of 2018," RWE said in a statement, also confirming plans to pay a dividend of 0.80 euros per share for 2019.
RWE is currently in the process of acquiring the renewable energy assets of subsidiary Innogy and rival E.ON as part of a larger asset swap, a move that will turn it into Europe's third-largest player in the field.
Supply & Trading, which also optimizes power plants to increase their efficiency and profitability, posted adjusted EBITDA of 255 million euros, accounting for half of the first-quarter total.
RWE confirmed the unit's 2019 outlook of 100-300 million euros in adjusted EBITDA, noting the substantial fluctuation it usually shows over the year, but said it would likely end up at the upper end of the year.