First-half earnings of RWE

The German multi-utility RWE reported first-half earnings at the low end of expectations following a steep fall in operating profits in its non-core divisions. Group operating profits for the six months to the end of June rose 8.7 per cent. RWE is attempting to off-load stakes in non-core industrial businesses and has embarked on an aggressive series of acquisitions to strengthen its core water, gas, electricity and waste activities. In the past 20 months it has bought Innogy, the UK's main electricity generator, Thames Water, American Water Works and Transgas, the Czech monopoly gas distributor. This has catapulted it into the top positions in electricity and water in both Germany and the UK. Net profit for the period rose by 11 per cent . Operating profits in the core businesses grew by 23 per cent but this was offset by a 46 per cent drop in the non-core activities, which include refining, printing and construction. It added that improvements in the German electricity market and a stronger contribution from the water operations were likely to sustain the rise in group operating profits for the full year. ©

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