Cheaper natural gas for eon: consumers are left out in the cold

Cheaper natural gas for eon: consumers are left out in the cold

Eon expects a positive earnings effect of one billion euros already for the first half of 2012, the company announced in dusseldorf on tuesday. The agreement that has now been reached will apply retroactively until 4 january 2009. Quarter 2010.

According to consumer protection experts, eon will initially be the sole beneficiary of the agreement. It is uncertain whether the price reductions will reach end consumers, holger krawinkel of the verbraucherzentrale bundesverband told dpa. This depends above all on the competitive situation on the gas market, the consumer user emphasized. It is conceivable that competition will now be fueled by eon’s more favorable purchasing conditions. For the end customers, however, the price development for gas is currently running in exactly the opposite direction.

After prices had been on the decline in recent years – a trend that even eon could not escape – many utilities have been announcing price increases to their customers for some months now. Just a few days ago, eon announced price increases for its five regional utilities of up to almost six percent on average as of 1 january 2009. September announced.

In recent years, eon and gazprom had unsuccessfully negotiated an adjustment of the gas prices in the long-term supply contracts. The company had run into difficulties due to the drastic drop in gas prices on the so-called spot markets, which serve short-term demand. The market had come under strong pressure, among other things due to increased volumes of flussig gas and shale gas from the USA. The long-term, expensive gas contracts, which are linked to the development of oil prices, turned out to be a loss-maker for the company.

Last year alone, eon incurred a loss of 700 million euros in its gas business. To get back into the black, eon boss johannes teyssen relied in particular on negotiations with gazprom. "We are pleased with the conclusion of our negotiations and with the good result for both sides," the manager explained. Eon strengthened its long-standing partnership with gazprom with these agreements.

"This agreement is a compromise and takes into account the current trends and developments on the natural gas market," gazprom vice chairman alexander medvedev stressed, according to company sources. Eon also appealed to an arbitration court over the gas price dispute with gazprom. The procedure is now ended by the agreement.

For the full fiscal year 2012, the dusseldorf-based company now expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of between 10.4 and 11.0 billion euros. This was also around one billion euros more than the original plan. The surplus could even be 1.8 billion higher. Shareholder protector thomas hechtfischer of the deutsche schutzvereinigung fur wertpapierbesitz (DSW) was surprised by the agreement: "I had not expected this," the DSW managing director told dpa. Eon negotiated well.

With the conclusion of the gazprom negotiations, eon has now renegotiated the price conditions of 100 percent of the volumes currently linked to oil prices under its long-term gas supply contracts. In march, the dusseldorf-based company reached an agreement to this effect with the norwegian supplier statoil, from which eon purchases almost a quarter of its gas. Gazprom accounts for 27 percent of volumes. Teyssen had set the goal of bringing all long-term gas supply contracts up to competitive level by 2013.

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