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Fortum announces €421m profits amid energy market turmoil

The rise in electricity prices led to Fortum's strong quarter, but losses caused by the Uniper ordeal were not reflected in the figures.

Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo
Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo announced that the rise in electricity prices spurred an increase in profits by almost one billion euros year-on-year. Image: Aalto Puutio / Yle
Yle News

Majority state-owned energy firm Fortum announced a strong third quarter result, amid the European energy market crisis brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

In the third quarter of this year, Fortum announced an operating profit of 421 million euros, with the firm citing rising electricity prices. Last year's profit for Q3 was 243 million euros. 

Fortum's turnover was 2.15 billion euros, rising nearly one billion euros more than in the third quarter of 2021. 

"Despite the challenging operating environment, all business segments of Fortum's continuing operations improved its results in the third quarter," CEO Markus Rauramo said in a financial statement. 

According to Rauramo, Fortum's Generation segment, which is responsible for Nordic power production, saw a strong result "due to achieving a record high electricity price as well as physical optimisation, higher spot prices and higher hedging prices".

Uniper's exclusion

The third quarter figures this year excluded the losses Fortum faced as it untangled itself from German-based gas giant Uniper. Fortum's financial figures now classify Uniper as a discontinued business operation. 

With Russia cutting gas supplies to Germany earlier this year, Uniper was forced to source far more expensive alternatives, depleting cash reserves and costing the company millions of euros per day. 

In September, Fortum agreed to sell its stake in Uniper to the German government for 500 million euros. Fortum saw losses totalling nearly six billion euros in its Uniper investment.

"Between the German government, Uniper and Fortum, we are working so that the arrangement [Uniper's sale to the German state] will be completed by the end of the year," Rauramo said on Thursday morning.

Putin has the power

Rauramo said Fortum's short-term objectives are to complete the Uniper transaction, make an orderly exit from Russia and ensuring sufficient solvency in case of further market turbulence. 

According to Rauramo, the firm's Russian exit is continuing on pace, though Russian President Vladimir Putin blocked Fortums's sale of its subsidiary operations in August. 

"We are starting to reach the end of the arrangement. There is a readiness to carry out deals, but they require the approval of the Russian administration and possibly also the president. In the end, it is up to the Russian administration," Rauramo told Yle.

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