RWE Energy posted an operating result of € 1,804 million. This roughly corresponds to the prior-year figure. The division benefited from the successful continuation of our efficiency-enhancement programme. The operating result stated as part of “Other, consolidation” advanced significantly due to the absence of charges incurred in earlier years in connection with derivative transactions used to hedge the price risks associated with forward contracts. The positive effects were contrasted by declines in margins in our German and Hungarian electricity supply business. In addition, there were negative currency effects. The regulation of the German networks did not result in noticeable additional burdens in the period under review.
RWE Energy’s business units displayed the following earnings trends:
- German regions: RWE Energy’s domestic regional companies closed the reporting period 4 % down year on year, despite ongoing cost reductions. This was mainly because electricity supply margins deteriorated. Rises in procurement costs could only partially be passed on to end customer prices. Gas operations improved their earnings situation slightly. Margins had come under pressure in this business in the prior-year period, because increases in the cost of purchasing gas were not fully reflected in end customer prices. Procurement costs have recently dropped again. As explained earlier, our German supply companies have already reacted to this by reducing their gas prices.
- International regions: RWE Energys non-German Continental European supply and grid operations were down 38 %. However, the prior-year figure still benefited from the positive effects on earnings from measures to hedge price risks in the Dutch gas business. Our Hungarian electricity and Czech gas supply activities had to cope with a fall in sales volume due to the economic and competitive environment. Negative currency effects also contributed to the decline in earnings. Cost reductions achieved through reorganisation and streamlining measures in Hungary and the Czech Republic had a counteracting effect.
- Supra-regional activities: The operating result improved by 12 %, in part owing to higher revenue from the Czech gas transmission business and cost reductions. This was contrasted by negative currency effects. In addition, measures taken to grow eprimo’s market share resulted in higher costs.