FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany’s decision to shut down nuclear power plants ahead of time meant a sharp drop in 2011 earnings at gas and electric company RWE.Net profit fell 45 per cent to euro1.81 billion from euro3.31 billion in 2010. Revenues fell 3.1 per cent to euro51.69 billion.
The Essen-based company said Tuesday that the year “was marked by difficult economic and political conditions.”
Germany’s government decided in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March to immediately shut down eight atomic reactors — two of them belonging to RWE — with the remaining nine power plants to be shut by 2022.
The company’s earnings were also squeezed by high purchase price of natural gas, which is indexed under long-term contracts to oil prices that have been rising.
The company said it would cut costs and sell assets to cope with the changed situation, efforts that would show increasing results this year and in 2013 and 2014. “We have introduced the necessary measures to get through the low point quickly,” CEO Juergen Grossmann said.
The company proposed a dividend of euro2 per share, which it said represented a yield of 7.4 per cent of its year-end stock price and continued the company practice of paying out 50 per cent to 60 per cent of its earnings to shareholders.
RWE shares rose 2.4 per cent to euro35.33 in midday trading in Germany.
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