* Company slashed 2013 outlook late on Monday
* Looking into possible closure of plants-CEO
* E.ON 9-month EBITDA 8.8 bln eur vs 8.5 bln in Rtrs poll
* Shares fall almost 12 pct, biggest intraday decline
(Adds fresh CEO quotes, analyst comment, details on plants)
By Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert
FRANKFURT, Nov 13 Germany's No.1 utility E.ON
warned of weakening power demand in Europe and
signalled it may close plants and step up saving efforts after
cutting its outlook for next year.
Lower demand for electricity on the back of Europe's
economic crisis has reduced revenue and capacity utilisation at
German energy plants and has curbed companies' trading activity.
"At no time since World War Two have power sales dropped so
far in so short a span of time," Chief Executive Johannes
Teyssen said on Tuesday.
Shares in E.ON plunged as much as 11.8 percent, their
biggest intraday decline in history which wiped out about 3.7
billion euros ($4.70 billion) of the group's market
In a surprise statement late on Monday, E.ON warned it could
miss its outlook for 2013, citing weak economic conditions that
have hurt the energy industry.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), total
primary energy demand in the EU is expected to decline by 2
percent in the 2010-2015 period, compared with a 10 percent rise
globally over the same period.
E.ON's European units are a key market for E.ON and,
including Russia, accounted for about 46 percent of earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in
the first nine months of 2012.
German energy groups are also grappling with the nuclear
phase-out directed by Chancellor Angela Merkel last year
following Japan's nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
"Given our cautious view on the Central European power
market, rising regulatory risk and balance sheet outlook, we
continue to view E.ON as one of our least preferred utilities,"
Citi analyst Sofia Savvantidou said.
Teyssen talked of immense pressure from the dismal
conditions in power generation.
"We will therefore continue to optimise our conventional
power plant portfolio and are looking into the possible closure
of sites," he said.
E.ON has said it will not build new coal or gas fired
capacity in western Europe until 2020, except for existing
projects including the delayed Datteln 4 coal block costing 1.3
Teyssen also said the group was shelving plans for a new
coal-to-power generation unit of 1,100 megawatts (MW) at its
Staudinger 6 generation plant at near Frankfurt.
E.ON's nine-month EBITDA rose 35 percent to 8.8 billion
euros ($11.2 billion), exceeding the 8.47 billion average
forecast in a Reuters poll. Its underlying net profit for the
period reached 4.04 billion euros, beating the average forecast
of 3.79 billion.
($1 = 0.7867 euros)
(Additional reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff in Duesseldorf and
Hakan Ersen in Frankfurt; Editing by Maria Sheahan and David