Sustainable Energy

E.ON calls for political support as profits keep falling

Nigel Treblin | Getty Images

Germany's top utility E.ON called for a clear political framework for its loss-making gas- and coal-fired power plants, assets it plans to spin off next year as they can no longer compete with rival solar and wind power.

"Germany continues to lack a clear regulatory mechanism that defines and rewards the role conventional power plants play in ensuring security of supply," E.ON Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said in a letter to shareholders on Wednesday.

"Without such a mechanism, Germany's energy transition will remain incomplete."

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined by 13 percent to 4.27 billion euros ($4.73 billion) in the first half, mainly impacted by a 29-percent drop in profits at its unit in charge of conventional power generation.

Investors are looking closely at E.ON, which surprised markets in November by announcing it would spin off its ailing power plants, energy trading and oil and gas activities into a separate unit, Uniper, in 2016.

The jury is still out about whether that plan will work, with analysts rating the stock an average "hold".