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Shift to renewables chips away at E.ON's profits

Germany’s leading energy provider E.ON watched its profits slide in the first quarter, a result of the country’s shift to renewable energy and a mild winter.

Competition from renewable energy providers and a mild winter chipped away at first-quarter revenues of Germany's largest energy provider, E.ON announced on Tuesday.

In a report to investors, E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen noted the company's operative revenue fell 12 percent to 3.2 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and its net income was down 12 percent to 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) compared to the same time last year.

E.ON also confirmed its prognosis that overall operative revenue would amount to 8-8.6 billion euros in 2014, down from 9.3 billion euros last year.

While business in renewable energy is on the rise, the company still faced dwindling profits as Germany steadily weans itself off nuclear power and energy from fossil fuels.

Call for coal and gas support

Teyssen used the opportunity on Tuesday to call on the government here to secure the future of E.ON's coal and gas plants, a proposition that is unlikely to find overwhelming support in Berlin.

Germans already have some of the highest energy bills in the world. From 2002 to 2012, the cost of energy here rose 83 percent - faster than in any other industrial country, according to figures released Monday by the Hamburg Institute of International Economics.

But the fact that Germans are paying more than ever for their power has done little to temper pressure felt by major utilities here.

Germany derives 27 percent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources.

cjc/ng (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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