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Business

German energy giant RWE posts huge annual loss

German utility RWE has posted a higher-than-expected annual loss for 2016. The Essen-based company said it was hit by write-downs on a number of its plants and provisions for a special nuclear waste fund.

German energy provider RWE on Wednesday reported a surprise loss of 5.7 billion euros ($6 billion) for last year.

"The difficult market environment made impairments necessary," CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz said in a statement.

RWE explained it had to make write-downs of 4.3 billion euros in 2016, not only in Germany, but also for plants in the UK, the Netherlands and Turkey.

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RWE announces surprise losses

Bad news for shareholders

In addition, the Essen-based firm was forced to set aside provisions to contribute to a government-ordered fund for the storage of nuclear waste by 2022.

The German utility scrapped its dividend for 2016, marking the second straight year it had done so as many of its conventional power plants had been pushed into losses by competing renewables.

The company said it was planning to resume dividend payments for 2017, eying a payout of 0.50 euros per share which would translate into a dividend of 3.7 percent.

hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)

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