Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Uniper unveils record losses before nationalization – DW – 11/03/2022

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Energy giant Uniper, which is soon to be nationalized, reported a record €40 billion ($39.3 billion) net loss on Thursday, one of the biggest in German corporate history.

In its interim report for the third quarter, the company said expected valuation effects on derivatives, as well as provisions in connection with Russian gas cuts, amounted to €31 billion in losses. Added to this are losses of €10 billion already expected by the end of September.

Uniper, Germany’s largest gas importer, has been hard hit by Russia’s decision to throttle gas supplies to Europe in an apparent response to sanctions over the war in Ukraine. To fulfill its contracts, the energy company now has to buy the gas it lacks from Russia from the spot market at a higher price.

“Our half-year numbers already indicated that this has left massive scars in our financial results,” Chief Financial Officer Tiina Tuomela said. An agreed stabilization package that will see Germany take over Uniper was currently in its final stages, Tuomela added.

“We are also working intensively to restructure our gas portfolio in order to minimize risks and to end by 2024 the losses resulting from suspended Russian gas deliveries,” Tuomela said.

One of the group’s most important priorities was the planned exit from the Russian market, it said. Uniper currently owns 83.7% in its Russian business, Unipro. 

Nationalization in its final stage 

A month ago, the German government, Uniper and its former majority shareholder, the Finnish company Fortum agreed on the far-reaching nationalization of Uniper.

The German government is set to own about 98.5% of the company’s shares once the deal is implemented. Shareholders are to approve the transaction at a general meeting in December. 

The Düsseldorf-based gas wholesaler, which had focused strongly on deliveries from Russia, is a supplier for more than 100 municipal utilities and large companies and thus plays a central role in the supply of natural gas in Germany.

So far, Uniper has drawn down €14 billion of the credit line provided by the state-owned KfW Bank.

los/nm (dpa, Reuters)

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