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RWE's 2006 Net Profit Climbed 73%

RWE, the country's biggest power producer, said Friday its 2006 net profit rose by nearly 73% because of a tax rebate and the sale of some assets.

The Essen-based utility earned 3.85 billion ($5.05 billion) in 2006 compared with 2.23 billion euros in 2005, beating the estimates of 3.57 billion euros ($4.68 billion) analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.

The increase was helped by RWE's sale of Thames Water Holdings, which accounted for 700 million euros ($917.42 million), along with a 600 million euros ($786.36 million) gain from a German corporate tax rebate.

Sales rose 12% to 44.3 billion euros ($58.06 billion) from 39.5 billion euros a year earlier.

The company did not disclose its fourth-quarter results.

Shares of RWE were up 1.4% to 78.45 euros ($102.82) in Frankfurt trading.