RWE will cut 2,400 jobs at Britain's npower where the German utility's subsidiary reports deeper fourth-quarter losses and an accelerating outflow of customers. Hayley Platt reports
RWE is Germany's second largest energy supplier. But its British subsidiary is dragging it down. As a result 2,400 jobs at npower are to go - that's a fifth of the UK workforce. SOUNDBITE (English) PANMURE GORDON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "Npower are not immune to the turbulence in energy markets and one of the challenges with the kind of volatility that we've seen is when you take forward positions, as npower has undoubtedly must, and markets quite as erratic, then you have the potential to be on the wrong side of the trade. I think there are also some structural problems." Last year npower lost 6 percent of its UK customers - that's more than 350,000 - after a billing problem effectively prevented it from charging customers That led to an operating loss of 137 million euros in 2015, compared with a profit of 227 million the previous year. RWE says it has no plans to sell off npower. And it hopes the worst will be over by 2018. But RWE shares slid 1.5 percent. Its stock has lost more than half its value over the past year.