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RWE holding outlook steady in weakened market

Germany's largest utility company attributes sustainability to renewables division.

By Daniel J. Graeber
RWE holding outlook steady in weakened market
German energy company RWE credits growth in renewables with maintaining some level of stability in market downturn. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

ESSEN, Germany, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- German energy company RWE said it was on pace to meet full-year income expectations despite the market downturn, thanks in part to its renewables division.

For the first three quarters of the year, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- the income the company has free for interest payments -- was down 6 percent from the same period last year to $4.7 billion. Operating results were down 9 percent to $2.8 billion.

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The company, along with its peers focused on oil and natural gas, attributed the decline to slumping energy prices.

The German utility, meanwhile, noted it had "marked improvement" in its renewables, with the operating results of its green-energy arm, RWE Innogy, increasing by about $270 million from last year to $300 million.

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"RWE Innogy is really taking off now -- from a small seed three years ago it has become a model of success," RWE Chief Executive Officer Peter Terium said in a statement.

The company attributed the success in renewables to the launch of two new wind farms in the last calendar year. Gas sales also increased, but that rise was pressured by lower energy prices.

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The German government in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan started taking steps to phase out nuclear power. Wind power generated on land and offshore is now emerging as one of the main pillars of Germany's new energy mix.

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The company, Germany's largest utility, in August said it was restructuring management along conventional, retail, grid and renewable operations while at the same time eliminating redundancies on board committees and reigning in its subsidiaries.

Terium said the changes would make RWE a "faster and more flexible" company in what he said was a new energy world. In its latest statement, the company said it expected to meet its full-year expectations for net income of between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion," even if only just."

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