Eon’s UK power sales fell 1.5 billion kilowatt hours, or 8%, in the first half of 2017. Posting half year results, the firm warned that Brexit, its impact on Sterling and ‘interventionist’ energy policy would take their toll on UK operations.
Power sales to small and medium enterprises (SME) and households fell 12% compared to the first six months of 2016. Power sales to the industrial and commercial (I&C) market dipped by 1%.
Reductions in gas volumes sold were more marked. Sales to SMEs and households fell 17%. Sales to the I&C market fell 13%. Total volumes were down 4.6 billion kWh, 16%.
Overall, UK sales fell 15% or €633m, with profit down 20% to €233m.
Eon cited customer losses across all market segments for the falls though said weather was partially to blame for gas.
While the group predicted full year earnings would be in line with its forecasts, Eon warned UK policy would create drag.
“The intervention of the Competition and Markets Authority and rising costs for customer acquisition as part of our new marketing strategy will impact our earnings in the United Kingdom. Earnings there will also be adversely affected by the planned Brexit and the forecast development of the British pound,” it stated.
Low interest rates and “increasingly fierce competition in our core markets are putting downward pressure on achievable returns”, the company added.
Overall, the group reduced its debt by €4.8bn, allowing it to increase dividends to shareholders and to invest more flexibly in sustainable energy and solutions.
See the results here.