German E.ON presses Berlin on nuclear energy issue
The biggest German power company, E.ON, posted mixed quarterly results on Wednesday and pressed the government to make up its mind on the issue of nuclear energy.
"There has long been a lack of clarity about the direction of Germany's energy-policy," a statement quoted chief executive Johannes Teyssen as saying.
"This needs to change."
Teyssen said German authorities needed to make "an environmentally and economically sensible decision on the future of nuclear energy in this country."
Chancellor Angela Merkel said last year that she would review a previous government's decision to abandon nuclear power by 2020, but has not yet acted, to the frustration of German power companies.
Their share prices have been weighed down by the uncertainty, with E.ON stock losing around 20 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.
That might be helped however by the group's better than expected second quarter operating results, even though net profit fell by 9.0 percent to 1.7 billion euros (2.2 billion dollars) owing to negative tax effects and higher interest payments, the statement said.
Adjusted net profit, the figure followed by analysts, slipped by just 1.0 percent to 3.3 billion euros, in line with an average analyst forecast compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.
On the operating level, E.ON reported better adjusted core earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) in the first half of the year of 6.1 billion euros, a gain of 11 percent from the first six months of 2009.
Market forecasts had pencilled in a more modest figure of 5.83 billion euros.
First half sales gained 6.7 percent to 44.3 billion euros, slightly lower than expected.
The power giant confirmed its full-year targets meanwhile, an increase of up to 3.0 percent in adjusted Ebit, and stable adjusted net profit.
© 2010 AFP