RWE embarks on asset sales and investment cuts

GERMANY’S RWE, Europe’s fifth-largest utility, said it will cut investments and sell assets to counter a worsening outlook for profits in the coming year after the 2010 result beat expectations.

The power provider is now forecasting operating profit will drop 20 per cent this year to €6.16bn (£5.24bn), more than the 16 per cent decline predicted by an analyst poll.

“The company is preparing for a difficult market environment,” RWE said yesterday. “We are rolling up our sleeves.”

The largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe predicted its operating profit would be at €5bn in 2013, when it will have to fully pay for emission certificates.

That is almost 30 per cent less than it previously predicted and 20 per cent less than what analysts expect.

RWE said operating earnings in 2010 had risen eight per cent to €7.7bn, more than the €7.5bn expected.