Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, has reported a loss of SEK 2 billion (€169 million) in the third quarter of 2023, with an underlying operating profit of SEK 900 million. This financial performance was substantially impacted by a steep decline in electricity prices across Vattenfall's markets, with prices plummeting by approximately 60% compared to the same period in the previous year.
The company's financial statement highlighted that the negative effects on profit were exacerbated by the valuation of electricity and fuel contracts, representing a stark contrast to the significant positive impact these factors had in the prior year.
For the first nine months of the year, Vattenfall's earnings totaled SEK 4.7 billion, a notable decrease compared to the same period in the previous year when earnings stood at SEK 17 billion.
The dip in financial results can be chiefly attributed to the consequences of impairments of offshore wind power assets in the UK, a development that occurred in the second quarter. Additionally, the valuation of electricity and fuel contracts, which had a substantial positive albeit temporary effect on profit in 2022, worked against Vattenfall in the current year.
While the company faced financial challenges, it noted some positive trends. Vattenfall's President and Chief Executive, Anna Borg, stated, “We report a higher contribution from both the heat and customer business. More customers are choosing Vattenfall, and we are pleased to observe that a majority of them are opting for fossil-free electricity contracts.”
Nonetheless, the financial performance in the reported period was primarily influenced by the significant drop in electricity prices and reduced electricity generation from hydro and nuclear power sources. Despite the challenges, Vattenfall remains focused on its commitment to providing sustainable and renewable energy solutions.