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E.ON profits fall on slow demand, renewables

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- German gas, electric and water utility E.ON saw its net profit fall 22 percent in the second quarter as it faced weak demand for power in Europe and increased competition from subsidized renewable energy.

Net income was 919 million euros ($1.22 billion), down from 1.18 billion in the April-June period a year ago.

Despite the fall in profit, CEO Johannes Teyssen reaffirmed the company's earnings forecast for the year of 9.2-9.8 billion euros after financial items such as interest, taxes and depreciation. But he also said Tuesday that the regulatory and business environment for the company's legacy power generation business was tough and that "no recovery is in sight."

Last month E.ON said it was mothballing a 2 ½-year old gas-fired plant in Malzenice, Slovakia because it was unprofitable and Teyssen said unless things change more shutdowns were "unavoidable."

The company's first-half operating earnings excluding financial items fell 15 percent to 5.70 billion euros, but exceeded analyst estimates for 5.67 billion as compiled by financial information provider FactSet. Company shares rose 3.8 percent to 12.70 euros in morning trading in Europe.