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Business

German power supplier overcomes nuclear phase-out dent

German utility company E.ON has left behind an unprofitable 2011 caused by the country's nuclear phase-out and high gas prices. But this year, the power supplier has logged huge profits in the first half.

German power supplier E.ON reported on Monday sound profits for the first half of the current year, after being deeply in the red toward the end of 2011.

The largest German utility company boasted a year-on-year rise in net profit for the first six months of 2012 to total 3.1 billion euros ($3.8 billion). Revenues soared by 23 percent over the same period to reach 65.4 billion euros.

"The positive results show that we've successfully tackled the new challenges on the energy market," Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said in a statement.

Phasing out losses

The solid earnings this year are in no small way a result of a better deal on long-term and cheaper gas supplies with Russia's Gazprom.

"The renegotiated gas supply deal alone meant a 1.2-billion-euro profit for the company," Teyssen maintained, adding that higher gas prices last year had prompted many former clients to turn their backs on the firm.

E.ON said it had also overcome one-off losses incurred by the government's final decision to completely phase out nuclear energy in Germany. As a result, the power supplier was forced to shut down its profitable Isar 1 and Unterweser nuclear power plants.

hg/mz (Reuters, AFP, dapd)