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RWE boss expects drastic job cuts due to coalition exit

RWE expected by the coal exit a considerable job reduction. He assumes that much of the coal commission additionally recommended by 2022 power plant shutdowns on North Rhine-Westphalia CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz announced in the annual report for 2018.

Schmitz had already taken this step in October after the clearing stop in the Hambacher Forst announced, Now the manager has specified: further closures would have an impact on RWE's opencast mining. "And they will lead to vacancies and I expect a significant reduction already by 2023," Schmitz is quoted as saying. He still did not name precise numbers.

RWE will probably not get along with the usual socially acceptable measures in the job cuts, said the manager in a video interview of the energy company. But he also put on the talks with the Federal government, RWE employs almost ten thousand people in the Rheinische Revier.

Group checks receipt of Hambacher Forst

According to news agency Reuters, RWE is nevertheless considering renouncing the clearing of the area, which has been defended by environmentalists for years. "We will examine what is possible with regard to stability, recultivation and water management," said Schmitz, according to speech at the financial press conference in Essen. Sure, that would cost a lot of money. Economically and operationally that would not make sense. "But symbols have their price." Earlier, the group had already announced the next year and a half to give up the clearing,

However, overall, such as in nuclear energy, the business of the energy company was worse. Adjusted operating profit (Ebitda) fell by a good quarter in 2018 to 1.5 billion euros, according to the company. Adjusted net income decreased from € 973 million to € 591 million. Both ratios were within the company's forecast. These figures refer to RWE alone, the subsidiary Innogy, which is in the process of being sold and destroyed, is no longer included therein. In 2019, the group expects a similarly high profit.

For example, RWE produced less electricity in 2018, partly because of the rising share of renewable energies. In addition, the group switched off block B of the Gundremmigen nuclear power plant. In the fourth quarter were also two blocks in the coal-fired power station Niederaussem transferred to the safety reserve, that is, they were temporarily closed down and are available to the electricity market only in exceptional circumstances.

"The operative business is going according to plan, and our financial base is very good," commented CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz. Shareholders should therefore receive a dividend of 70 cents per share as announced. Shareholders had received a total of EUR 1.50 per share one year earlier, but this included a one-off special dividend in connection with repayments of illicit nuclear taxes. RWE announced a dividend of 80 cents per share for the new financial year.

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