Vattenfall is reporting a lower operating profit for the second quarter, SEK12.2bn ($1.9bn), saying that the German government’s decision in March to phase-out nuclear power played a significant part in the fall.

Net sales decreased by 18.6 per cent to $6.4bn for the second quarter and by 23.3 per cent to $14.5bn for the first half of the year.

The company also said that its inability to repeat the high production and sales volumes that it had during the corresponding quarter a year ago also contributed to the reduction in its operating profit.

In a statement, the Swedish utility said that the decision to close all nuclear power plants in Germany had forced it to recognise an impairment loss for the book value of the Brunsbuttel and Krummel nuclear power plants and to increase provisions for decommissioning and the handling of spent nuclear fuel.

Vattenfall’s electricity generation decreased by 8.9 per cent during the second quarter of 2011, to 37.7 TWh.  Hydropower generation decreased by 10.1 per cent to 7.1 TWh, nuclear power generation by 17.1 per cent to 10.2 TWh, and fossil-based generation fell by 4.4 per cent to 19.5 TWh.

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