Verbund has raised its outlook for the year based on cost savings and favourable developments in the electricity business but said it planned to cut costs further and scale back dividend payments.

The Austrian hydropower producer raised its forecast for full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to roughly EUR840m ($927.6 million) from EUR750m. It lifted its net profit goal to about EUR270m from EUR230m.
The semi state company also slashed its planned dividend payout ratio for 2016 to 30 per cent of adjusted net profit. Its last payout ratio was 45 percent.

“We are also informing the public about the key points of the new programme to reduce costs and increase efficiency: Besides the reduction in expenses and efficiency improvements, the measures under this programme also include a further reduction of approximately 175 jobs by 2020,” Verbund said, according to Reuters.

The company said its improved outlook was partly due to higher profit in its grid division, which intervenes in power plant operations to ensure grid stability and prevent or counteract excess flows.