Sweden: Vattenfall reports $2.33 billion loss for 2013

Radio SwedenEye on the Arctic

The state-owned energy company Vattenfall has reported a $2.33 billion loss for last year, citing “challenging market conditions” as one of the explanations.

The poor result means the board wants to skip paying out dividends to shareholders for 2013.

Last year’s loss comes after 2012, a year when Vattenfall reported a $2.77 billion profit. Part of the big difference between the two years is explained by the positive effect during the fourth quarter in 2012, when corporate tax was lowered in Sweden.

The daily Dagens Industri reports that Vattenfall’s CEO Øystein Løseth referred to the “fundamental structural change” that the European energy market is undergoing to explain the losses.

In addition to falling prices due to surplus production capacity and the low demand for electricity, he said, “the whole traditional business model, based on large scale electricity production in conventional power stations, is being challenged.”

Vattenfall, wholly owned by the government of Sweden, is Europe's sixth largest producer of electricity and largest producer of heat, the company said on its website.

Although financial performance suffered, sales and power generation increased, the company said in a statement about its 2013 results.

Net sales for the year rose 2.6 percent and electricity generation increased by 1.6 percent, said the statement, issued Feb. 2. Nuclear-power generation reached the second-highest level since the company began those operations 40 years ago, the statement said. Most of Vattenfall's growth investments are in renewable energy, including large-scale wind-power projects, the company said in its statements. Investments in 2013 included two new wind farms in the United Kingdom, encompassing 94 wind turbines, the statement said.

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