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Deep in the red

March 4, 2014

Germany's second-largest utility company, RWE, has reported huge full-year losses, logging negative results it hasn't seen for many decades. The company has suffered from the nation's energy transition policy.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa

A marked dip in conventional energy generation pushed Germany's utility giant RWE into the red in 2013, with the company reporting Tuesday it had not survived the current energy transition towards more renewable unscathed.

The firm posted a net loss of 2.8 billion euros ($3.84 billion) for last year, after securing a profit of 1.3 billion euros in the previous year.

RWE explained one of the reasons for the negative results in 2013 were massive write-downs on conventional power plants.

Hard times ahead

Operating profit in conventional electricity generation dropped by a staggering 58 percent to 1.4 billion euros, also because of the company having to pay heavily for CO2 certificates. Overall electricity generation dipped by 5 percent, RWE stated.

The company said it would have to continue to close down power plants as some were no longer profitable.

BASF eyes RWE's oil business

In the face of the firm's difficult situation, Chief Executive Peter Terium said shareholders' dividends would be halved, with board members also renouncing half a million euros in payments.

RWE said it would have to cut its workforce by 10 percent by 2016, meaning that about 6,700 jobs would have to go, 4,700 of them in Germany.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa)