Fortum Says Fourth-Quarter Profit Rose 6%

Nordic power group Fortum said Wednesday fourth-quarter profit rose 6% as energy prices rose.

Net income for the three months ended Dec. 31 rose to 361 million euros ($468 million), or 0.39 euros ($0.51) per share, up from 341 million euros, or 0.36 euros per share, in the previous year, Fortum said. Sales rose 13% to 1.25 billion euros ($1.62 billion).

Electricity prices increased an average 38% in 2006.

"Fortum's results in 2006 were good and its financial position is strong," the company said in a statement.

For the full-year 2006, Fortum's net profit rose to 1.12 billion euros ($1.45 billion) from 936 million euros ($1.21 billion) the previous year. Sales rose 16% to 4.49 billion euros ($5.82 billion).

The company said it would propose a dividend of 1.26 euros ($1.63) per share.

Fortum, which is 51% owned by the Finnish government, is the second largest power company in the Nordic region after Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall. It generates electricity for 1.4 million customers in Estonia, Finland, Germany and Sweden.