* H1 EBITDA 5.04 bln euros, Reuters poll was for 4.96
* H1 net profit 1.58 bln euros, down 0.4 pct year-on-year
* RWE says agreed with Statoil on gas price adjustment
* Company says it will cut an additional 2,400 jobs
* RWE shares down 0.4 pct
(Adds further details on gas contracts, job cuts)
By Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert
FRANKFURT, Aug 14 Profit growth at RWE
lagged that of its main peer E.ON, reflecting a
slower adjustment by Germany's No.2 utility to the country's
exit from nuclear power and underlining the group's need to
renegotiate expensive gas contracts.
RWE said on Tuesday its core earnings (EBITDA) rose 9
percent year-on-year to 5.04 billion euros ($6.23 billion)
compared with E.ON's 55 percent increase posted on Monday.
RWE said a recent agreement on price adjustments with
Norwegian gas supplier Statoil had helped the earnings
for the first half of the current financial year.
But it was still renegotiating with two gas suppliers about
the price of 11 billion cubic metres of gas procured by RWE each
year, while E.ON has largely completed its renegotiations.
The group declined to name the suppliers but said that
renegotiations would affect deliveries from Russia and the
Netherlands, where players such as Gazprom and
Gasterra dominate the market.
"The present framework conditions are anything but
favourable," Chief Executive Peter Terium said.
"Mounting state intervention in the energy sector, shrinking
power plant margins and fierce competition in electricity and
gas supply are all challenges we are facing," he added.
Gas contracts have been a major problem for European
utilities which are being squeezed as they buy gas under
long-term deals concluded with companies such as Gazprom or
Statoil when prices were firmer, while having to sell it to
customers at lower retail prices.
Renegotiated gas contracts had helped E.ON to post its
strong first-half results.
At 1043 GMT, shares in RWE were down 0.4 percent, while E.ON
was 0.5 percent higher, both underperforming a 0.9 percent rise
of the Stoxx Europe 600 Utilities Index.
SLIMMING DOWN FAST
European utilities are struggling with weak energy demand at
home, forcing them to slim down after years of acquiring assets
and piling up debt.
RWE confirmed it would axe another 2,400 jobs, bringing
total cuts at the company to about 10,400.
Germany's top utilities are only just emerging from the
downturn caused by the government's decision last year to shut
all nuclear power stations in the country by 2022.
Last month, EnBW, Germany's third-largest utility,
said first-half sales at its gas unit rose by one third because
of an expansion in gas trading activity.
RWE's net profit for the six months through June fell 0.4
percent to 1.58 billion euros ($1.95 billion) while E.ON posted
a tripling of net profit to 3.13 billion and group earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of
"The numbers were mixed, some were higher than expected,
some lower. Overall, they are OK," one trader said.
DZ Bank analyst Hasim Senguel kept a "buy" rating on the
RWE said that as part of its efficiency and cost-cutting
programmes it would set up a European power generation company
grouping German, British and Dutch coal and gas-fired power
The new entity will include all plants operated by the
German RWE Power, Germany's biggest power producer, Britain's
RWE npower and Essent in the Netherlands.
($1 = 0.8096 euros)
(Additional reporting by Andrea Lentz; Editing by Maria Sheahan
and Anthony Barker)