German energy firm E.ON said Wednesday that its annual net losses had more than doubled over the past year in 2015 after it wrote down the value of its ailing power plants. The Düsseldorf-based company, which is in the process of spinning off its power generation and energy trading business into a new publicly traded company called Uniper, has been hit hard by the global slump in commodity prices and the German government’s move toward renewable energy.
In 2015, E.ON’s losses jumped 121 percent over the past year to 7 billion euros ($7.68 billion) from 3.16 billion euros ($3.47 billion) in 2014. However, the company still proposed a dividend of 50 euro cents a share for 2015, unchanged from a year earlier.
“Our numbers reflect the far-reaching structural transformation that our industry is experiencing and that continues unabated in the current year,” E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen said. “Our strategy of having E.ON and Uniper focus on their respective energy world is the right response to this transformation. But the course ahead will be tougher and longer than anticipated.”
The company had earlier warned it would be in the red for the year after announcing an 8.3 billion euro ($9.10 billion) impairment charge in the third quarter because of record low wholesale electricity prices, asset write-downs and regulatory uncertainty. On Wednesday, E.ON said its total impairments charges in the second half of the year came to 8.8 billion euros ($9.65 billion).
As a result of the slump in electricity prices, several large energy firms in Germany have, in recent months, written down the value of their power plants. On Tuesday, for instance, RWE also reported annual losses of 637 million euros ($699 million) after writing down the value of its plants by 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion).
E.ON’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell about 10 percent over the past year to 7.56 billion euros ($8.3 billion). In 2016, the company expects the figure to be between 6 billion euros to 6.5 billion euros ($7.13 billion), taking into account the operations of Uniper.
“The separation and refocus of E.ON and Uniper are on schedule. E.ON is currently preparing a spinoff report, which it will release along with the invitation to its Annual Shareholders Meeting. At this meeting, which will be held on June 8, 2016, the shareholders will vote on the spinoff of Uniper. This would be followed by Uniper’s stock-market listing,” the company said in a statement.