* Q3 operating profit 220 mln euros, vs 251 mln poll
* Power unit Q3 price 39.7 euros/MWh, down 4.6 euros y/y
* Starts cost cuts, to sell non-core assets
(Adds CEO comments, details on restructuring plan)
HELSINKI, Oct 19 Finnish utility Fortum
is to cut costs and sell assets to improve its
financial health after quarterly operating profit fell 26
Fortum said on Friday a restructuring programme should
improve its cash flow by more than 1 billion euros ($1.3
billion) in 2013-14, adding it may have to cut jobs.
It plans to sell around 500 million euros in assets and cut
capital spending by around 250-350 million.
The move came with Fortum struggling to lift profit during a
global downturn and prolonged outages at its the Oskarshamn
nuclear power plant in Sweden, which it partly owns.
Nordic electricity prices have also been under pressure from
high water reservoir levels that make hydro power cheaper.
Fortum's July-September comparable operating profit fell to
220 million euros, compared with a forecast for 251 million in a
"The third quarter was weak as we expected, but still
unacceptable," chief executive Tapio Kuula said. "External
pressures combined with cost increases are making it necessary
for us to improve efficiency and to find cost reductions in
Fortum said it had hedged 30 percent of electricity volumes
in 2014 at 43 euros per megawatt hour.
($1 = 0.7638 euro)
(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Dan Lalor)
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