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May 31, 2023 14:20 EEST
May 31 (SeeNews) - S&P Global Ratings said on Wednesday it has revised to negative from stable the outlook of Croatian state-owned electricity company Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) due to the impact of government intervention and high procurement costs amidst the energy crisis.
“The energy crisis had negative consequences for HEP, with price caps from April 2022 to March 2023 and high procurement costs leading to our expectation of operating losses of about 900 million euro ($961 million) in 2022,” S&P said in a press release.
It also affirmed its 'BBB' long-term issuer credit rating on HEP, and revised downwards the company’s standalone credit profile (SACP) to 'bb+' from 'bbb-'.
“In 2023, we expect operating performance to stabilize on the back of the announced special measures regarding electricity and heat energy and gas starting April 2023 and the up to 900 million euro package announced by the Croatian government to support the company,” it added.
The negative outlook indicates that the credit rating agency could lower the rating if HEP's funds from operations to debt doesn't recover beyond 40% by 2024, which could stem from state support not being received in a timely manner or operating performance not stabilizing in line with S&P’s expectations this year.
( $ = 0.937 euro)
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