E.On takes hit from German nuclear policy

UTILITY company E.On said it lost 1.9 billion euros (£1.6 billion) last year as the German government’s decision to shut down several nuclear power plants hit its earnings.

Germany’s biggest power supplier said today that the forced shutdown of some of its atomic reactors in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster alone cost the company 2.5 billion euros (£2.1 billion).

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The company said a new tax on nuclear fuel, lower earnings in its power generation unit and declining margins in the natural gas business also contributed to the net loss, which comes after a 6.3 billion euros (£5.3 billion) profit in 2010.

Despite the loss, E.On said sales were up by 22% from 93 billion euros (£77.9 billion) to 113 billion euros (£94.7 billion) and that it is now “past the worst”.

It expects a profit this year of up to 2.7 billion euros (£2.3 billion).