Utility E.ON has loss of $2.1B on nuke shutdown

AP News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2011 7:08 AM
Utility E.ON has loss of $2.1B on nuke shutdown

German electricity and gas supplier E.ON says it lost euro1.49 billion ($2.13 billion) in the second quarter because of the government's decision to shut down nuclear plants early after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The net loss reported Wednesday compares to profit of euro1.72 billion a year ago. Sales rose 35 percent to euro25.2 billion.

E.ON also cut its dividend to shareholders for this year by 30 cents to euro1.00 and said that 9,000 to 11,000 jobs _ most of them administrative _ were endangered.

A final decision on job reductions will be made this fall, CEO Johannes Teyssen said. The company has 79,000 workers.

The company said it would have to "quickly and permanently achieve a significant reduction in costs" in order to secure its future.

"We're not immune to negative changes in our markets, and especially in the political and regulatory environment," Teyssen said in a statement. "We simply must make use of the internal flexibility we have."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided in May to shut all of Germany's 17 reactors by 2022 _ reversing a decision last year to extend their life spans. The government also imposed a new nuclear tax.

Two of its German nuclear reactors were among the eight older ones that were switched off after Fukushima: Unterweser and Isar I. Its other four _ Brokdorf, Grafenrheinfeld, Grohnde and Isar II _ remain open but won't now be able to run as long as the company expected before Merkel changed course.

E.ON shares traded down 0.2 percent at euro15.50.