Utility Veolia posts higher Q1 profits and keeps 2021 outlook

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PARIS (Reuters) – French utility Veolia, which last month agreed a 13 billion euros ($15.6 billion) merger deal with rival Suez, posted higher first quarter earnings on Wednesday and kept its 2021 financial outlook.

Veolia reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first quarter ending March 31 of 1.078 billion euros, up from 970 million a year earlier.

Revenues rose 2 percent from last year to 6.81 billion euros, while net income jumped by 58.7 percent to 186 million euros.

In April, Veolia struck a merger deal with Suez worth nearly 13 billion euros after months of wrangling between the two French waste and water management companies.

“On April 11th, we signed an agreement to purchase Suez Group and to create the undisputed world champion of ecological transformation,” said Veolia Chairman and Chief Executive Antoine Frerot.

“This combination, which should be finalized by the end of the year, opens up great development prospects at a time when environmental priorities have never been higher on the agenda,” added Frerot.

($1 = 0.8318 euros)

(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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