RWE starts to stem wholesale losses and cut back expenses

Marion Dakers
GERMAN power group RWE said its outlook for the year is rosier after losses from its energy trading unit were less than thought.

The owner of Npower said it had halved the loss at its trading and midstream unit to €403m (£324m) for the first nine months of the year.

The group has made progress with renegotiating wholesale contracts, limiting the losses, it said.

The firm sold seven per cent less electricity at 208.3bn kilowatt hours of electricity in the nine months, while gas sales dropped 11 per cent to 203.6bn kilowatt hours.

But the group said operating profits rose eight per cent to €4.6bn, as cost burdens linked to an exit from nuclear power in Germany last year flattered to comparative figures.

“Our performance over the first three quarters of the current financial year has been quite good,” said chief executive Peter Terium.

RWE has cut its capital expenditure by €1bn in the first nine months of 2012, while the recent sale of assets, including its stake in British nuclear joint venture Horizon, has gained momentum.

“RWE is now slightly more confident than it was in August of this year,” it said yesterday.