Standard & Poor’s keeps Vattenfall’s rating on BBB+, and revises its outlook for Vattenfall from negative to stable as Vattenfall over the past year “has taken several measures that have improved the business mix.”
One major factor for the improvement is the sale of Vattenfall´s lignite assets, as this deal reduced the exposure to negative political intervention and to merchant power prices as well as carbon dioxide emissions, the agency states in its report.
Political agreements in Sweden and Germany along with growth in wind power production contribute to the improvement:
“The stable outlook reflects the assumption that Vattenfall's significant investments in wind farms and the relatively high share of electricity distribution and heating networks will translate into solid earnings growth and enable the group to maintain a financial risk profile in line with the expectations for the rating,” the report states.
Vattenfall’s CFO Stefan Dohler comments on the revised outlook:
“The decision of S&P to affirm our investment grade rating and change the outlook from negative to stable confirms our view that we have seen a number of positive developments since the last rating review and therefore consider our financial outlook more stable. The direct benefit for Vattenfall is continued access to competitive external funding based on our strong rating. In order to maintain that rating, we need to deliver on our projections relating to the economic and financial performance of Vattenfall,” Stefan Dohler says.