By Dina Kartit
(Reuters) -Revenues at France's Veolia jumped 49.1% in the nine months to the end of September, the company said on Wednesday, mostly driven by its takeover of rival Suez earlier this year.
The waste and water company's revenues for the period climbed to 30.71 billion euros ($30.92 billion), while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 5.2% year-on-year to 4.53 billion euros.
The acquisition of Suez in February contributed 7.12 billion euros to revenues, with organic growth totalling 13.2% for Veolia and Suez together.
The group showed "resilience and agility to adapt to a new environment and an acceleration of the effect of the merger with Suez," Chief Executive Officer Estelle Brachlianoff said in call with journalists.
The utility was now aiming for the upper end of its EBITDA forecast range for organic growth of between 4% and 6% in 2022, and confirmed the rest of its objectives for the year.
Veolia said its activities had been affected by price increases net of cost inflation and contract negotiations but there was no negative effect of inflation on results overall, Brachlianoff said, as 70% of the company's customer base is automatically indexed to pass on price increases.
The group expects to close the Suez transaction by the end of the year, said Bachnlianoff, as the group has received Britain's Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) final clearance of the deal, allowing Veolia to earn 3 billion in sales proceeds by the end of the year, he said.
Britain's competition watchdog raised objections to the merger and ordered the group to sell three parts of the combined Suez's UK business.
($1 = 0.9930 euros)
(Reporting Dina KartitEdited by Mark Potter, Elaine Hardcastle)