Two of Europe’s top utilities say that mild weather conditions have played a part in disappointing third quarter results announced this week.
GDF Suez SA (GSZ), operator of Europe’s biggest natural-gas network, lowered its profit forecast for the year after nuclear reactors in Belgium were shut and mild weather hurt demand.
The utility lowered 2014 financial targets to a range of 3.1 to 3.5 billion euros after taking into account outages of the two Belgian nuclear reactors through the end of the winter. The outlook had been in the range of 3.3 billion euros to 3.7 billion euros.
The nuclear reactors are not operational due to repairs at one and safety checks at two others. The outage of the Doel-3 and Tihange-2 nuclear reactors is costing about 40 million euros a month in net recurring income, the utility has said.
Meanwhile RWE CEO Peter Terium is insisting on a positive outlook even though the firm’s operating result dropped by 31 per cent in the first three quarters year-on-year, totalling 2.9 billion euros ($3.6 billion).
The utility pointed to persistently low prices on the wholesale electricity market and mild weather affecting its business performance in the first nine months of 2014.
“Despite the decline in earnings, there were more bright than dark spots,” Terium said, pointing in particular to the company’s “positive development in cash flow.”
He also noted that RWE successfully obtained pre-qualification for all of its power stations in Britain, saying they were eligible to be considered for a new UK capacity market as power stations there would receive compensation for keeping secured generation capacity available for the market as from winter 2018.
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