Energy company: RWE with a jump in profit - criticism of the planned skimming

The energy company RWE is critical of the federal government's plan to siphon off so-called random profits.

Energy company: RWE with a jump in profit - criticism of the planned skimming

The energy company RWE is critical of the federal government's plan to siphon off so-called random profits. "Interventions in tried-and-tested market-based systems should be avoided," said Chief Financial Officer Michael Müller when the quarterly figures were presented. Where interventions are considered absolutely necessary by politicians, a time limit for the time of the crisis is important.

"The levy must be designed in such a way that we can get out of the crisis," said the manager. "We have to invest our way out of the crisis." In Müller's opinion, the sums required for the conversion of the energy supply must "come largely from private companies". And for this to happen, the framework conditions for investors must remain attractive and reliable. RWE sees itself as responsible, he said. At the moment it is not yet clear what the profit skimming will look like, said Müller. Last but not least, the management decided not to raise the forecast for the year.

Operating result increases by around 70 percent

RWE presented brilliant quarterly figures. The operating result adjusted for special effects (Ebitda) climbed by a good 70 percent to 4.1 billion euros compared to the same period of the previous year. The reasons given by the company were a high demand for electricity, more green electricity production and an "extremely strong" trading business. While profits in renewable energies and trading rose sharply, they declined in the coal and nuclear energy segment, which is no longer part of RWE's core business. Reason are, among other things, power plant closures. The electricity production of the German lignite-fired power plants and the RWE nuclear power plant had already been sold long before the current energy crisis.

The company confirmed its outlook for the full year. Accordingly, in 2022 it is still aiming for an operating result of between 5 billion and 5.5 billion euros. The adjusted net result should be between 2.1 and 2.6 billion euros. The dividend target remains unchanged at 90 cents per share.

Lützerath is to be dredged

Müller also commented on the debate about further lignite-fired power generation. RWE therefore considers it necessary to clear the town of Lützerath at the Garzweiler opencast lignite mine, which is occupied by climate activists, this winter. It is a matter of supplying the lignite blocks that have been brought back from the security reserve and the two blocks that are now running longer with lignite, said Müller. For this it is necessary that the opencast mining proceeds as planned. "In this respect, Lützerath must also be cleared during the clearing period in winter," said Müller. He does not know when the clearing should begin.

At the beginning of October, the Green-led economics ministries in the federal government and North Rhine-Westphalia agreed with the energy company RWE to phase out coal in the Rhenish Revier by 2030. Five largely abandoned villages at the open-pit mine remain, but Lützerath is to be dredged for coal extraction. Local activists want to prevent that.

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