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Germany’s largest gas importer posts record loss for 2022

Berlin, Feb 18 (IANS) Germany’s largest gas importer Uniper has posted a record net loss of 19.1 billion euros for 2022 due to high procurement costs for gas, the state-owned utility said.

“The burden of gas replacement procurement costs has put our company in an extremely difficult situation, which was resolved by government support,” Chief Executive Officer Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a statement.

At the end of last year, the German government had to rescue Uniper from insolvency and now holds around 99 per cent of the company’s shares, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The state’s stake serves to safeguard Germany’s energy supply,” the ministry for economic affairs and climate action said at the time.

The bailout included a capital increase of 8 billion euros and an additional authorized capital of 25 billion euros, of which 5.5 billion euros had already been utilized by the end of 2022, according to the company.

Uniper did not provide a timeframe for returning to profitability and only expects adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) in financial year 2023 to be above the previous year’s level.

However, it stressed that “high uncertainties regarding the development of gas prices and the associated gas replacement costs may lead to a high volatility”.

Back in 2021, before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the company still posted adjusted EBIT of 0.95 billion euros.

This figure now plummeted to minus 10.9 billion euros last year, according to Uniper.