Vattenfall profit hike despite tepid winter

Vattenfall profit hike despite tepid winter
The Vattenfall logo in Germany. File photo: Shutterstock
In defiance of the mild winter and low energy prices, Swedish energy giant Vattenfall reported a sharp rise in first-quarter profits on Tuesday.

Net profit rose by almost a third at 8.1 billion kronor ($1.24 billion) compared to 6.19 billion the previous year "owing to capital gains, improved net financial items, and a lower tax charge", chief executive
Oystein Loseth said in a statement.

He added that the mild winter had led to a 30-percent fall in sales of heat and gas compared to the level a year ago. The profit rise was also due to the sale in February of the group's 74.9-percent stake in the electricity grid of the German city of Hamburg, which generated a capital gain of three billion kronor.

In July, the state-owned firm became one of the first in a series of European energy groups to admit that electricity prices were unlikely to recover "in the foreseeable future", as it wrote down the value of its assets by 29.7 billion kronor.

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