Thursday 13 November 2014 8:39 pm

Bad weather to blame for poor sales, says RWE

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THE GERMAN owner of Npower, RWE, yesterday reported a nine per cent drop in revenue, to €35.3bn (£30bn), in the first three quarters of 2014. The firm’s operating profit fell by 31 per cent to €2.9bn, a decline that RWE said was expected, and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation fell by 22 per cent to €4.7bn. The company stated that the severity of these falls was partly caused by a high one-off payment awarded to RWE during the previous year connected to price negotiations for its gas purchasing agreements. Earnings per share increased by 64 per cent, from €0.99 to €1.62. Electricity production was down to 151.2bn kilowatts per hour (kwh), a 5.9 per cent decline from the 160.7bn kwh in the nine months to Sept­ember 2013. Meanwhile, electricity sales volume fell by 4.2 per cent, from 200bn kwh to 192bn kwh, and gas sales volume plunged by 19.3 per cent, from 229bn kwh to 185bn kwh. RWE noted that sales to residential and commercial customers were down mainly as a result of weather conditions. The group added that the sale of a UK supply subsidiary – gas company Dea was being sold to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman for €5.1bn – and the “general trend toward saving energy” were also factors in the reduced sales. Peter Terium, chief ex­ecutive of RWE, comm­ented: “Despite the decline in earnings, there were more bright than dark spots in the first three quarters.”