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UPDATE 1-Utility Engie to boost investments in renewables and step up asset sales

(Adds detail and background)

PARIS, May 18 (Reuters) - French power company Engie announced on Tuesday plans to boost investments in the renewables sector and step up disposals of non-core assets, as part of a strategic programme to improve its business performance.

Engie said it was targeting between 9-10 billion euros ($11-$12 billion) worth of disposals over 2021-2023, which in turn would help finance 15-16 billion euros worth of investments in areas such as renewable energy.

Engie re-affirmed its dividend policy of having a dividend payout ratio of 65-75% of Engie’s net recurring income group share, and introduced a dividend floor of 0.65 euros per share over the 2021-2023 period.

Engie’s revenues for the first quarter ending March 31 rose 2.3% from a year ago to 16.9 billion euros, while its earnings before interest (EBIT) rose 8.3% to 2.07 billion euros.

Engie kept its 2021 financial guidance, namely for a net recurring income group share of between 2.3-2.5 billion euros.

“We have reaffirmed our guidance for 2021 and our priorities are clear: to drive improved performance by focussing on our deep industrial expertise; complete the strategic reviews underway; and create value from allocating capital to activities that will accelerate the transition to carbon-neutrality,” said Engie chief executive Catherine MacGregor.

$1 = 0.8221 euros Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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