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RWE First-Half Profit 58% Higher, Raises Full-Year Forecast

German utility RWE said Thursday that its first-half net profit rose by 58% amid high power prices in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, and raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Essen-based RWE said it earned 2.63 billion euros ($3.62 billion) between January and June, up from 1.66 billion euros a year earlier. Its performance exceeded the 2.36 billion euros ($3.25 billion) forecast of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

RWE did not break out second-quarter figures.

The company said the main drivers of earnings growth were "extraordinarily good trading performance and the positive trend in the power generation business." That, it said, "was due to higher-priced supply contracts for 2007 concluded in previous years."

The company said it now expects recurrent net profit, adjusted for one-time items, for the full year to be at least 15% higher than last year's level. It previously had forecast an increase of about 10%.

Sales fell by 2.4% to 22.62 billion euros ($31.14 billion) as a mild winter and a cool summer that weighed on energy demand. They came in below analysts' forecast of 23.36 billion euros ($32.16 billion).