Germany’s Uniper reports a loss of 40 billion euros after Russian gas cuts

Germany’s Uniper has posted a €40 billion loss as Russia’s moves to limit gas supplies pushed the soon-to-be-nationalized energy giant to one of the biggest losses in the company’s history.

Uniper reported a net loss of 40.4 billion euros for the first nine months of the year, a steep jump from the loss of 4.7 billion euros in the same period last year. The turnover of 213 billion euros was almost three times as high as the same period of the previous year of 78 billion euros.

For the three months from July to September, Uniper’s quarterly loss was almost 28 billion euros.

The skyrocketing gas price triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions by Western countries has plunged Uniper into a crisis and prompted the federal government to nationalize the company.

Uniper, once Europe’s largest importer of Russian gas, was forced to buy more expensive gas on the spot market after Moscow cut supplies.

“In order to ensure security of supply for customers, Uniper has been procuring gas at significantly higher prices and . . . has therefore experienced significant losses because the replacement cost of procuring new gas is not passed on to consumers,” said Chief Financial Officer Tiina Tuomela.

“Our half-year figures have already shown that this has had a massive impact on our financial results,” she added.

According to Uniper, the loss of €40.4 billion includes “approximately €10 billion in realized costs for replacement volumes and approximately €31 billion in expected future losses from valuation effects on derivatives and the build-up of provisions related to the Russian gas restrictions”.

In September, the federal government unveiled a multi-billion dollar package to save Uniper from bankruptcy, which included buying out the group’s former owner Fortum and injecting €8 billion in capital.

The short-term liquidity of the energy supplier was strengthened by a credit line of 18 billion euros from the state-owned KfW bank. Uniper said it had drawn down €14 billion as of October 31.

“The implementation of the stabilization package is therefore a top priority,” said Tuomela.

https://www.ft.com/content/fa0829ab-2e81-4a1c-aa0b-c17aa8f4b992 Germany’s Uniper reports a loss of 40 billion euros after Russian gas cuts

Adam Bradshaw

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