Finnish utility Fortum missed market expectations with a significant fall in its second-quarter operating profit, blaming uncertainty in Europe, as well as low power prices in the Nordic market.

Its second-quarter comparable operating profit fell to EUR281m ($345m), representing a 19 per cent decrease, reports Reuters.

“High uncertainty in Europe and in the world economy in general has kept the economic activity slow in our main markets,” Tapio Kuula, Fortum’s chief executive, said.

Nord Pool Spot system prices have fallen as low as EUR7, a level Kuula said was “rarely experienced in the 21st century”.

Fortum confirmed it also saw lower nuclear volumes because of prolonged repairs in Sweden, with high nuclear fuel costs and waste fees hitting its finances too.

Although electricity consumption grew in Finland’s chemicals industry, traditional high-energy users such as forestry were using less, the utility said.

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