Major private energy traders profits evaporate

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Only a few energy traders managed to maintain their turnovers and revenues last year,
considering the fact that exponential increases have become a common trend in recent years, reads Ziarul Financiar daily on September 11.
 
In some cases, profits dropped more than 100 times, while some companies went into the red and some turnovers reached one third of 2006 levels. How can this be explained and what will happen next?
Energy Holding, the biggest private electricity trader, last year posted 3.9 million-euro net revenues, almost five times lower than in 2006, way below the company’s forecast.
 
“The rising procurement prices and customer portfolio changes led to a profit decline in our company,” says the representatives of Energy Holding, a trader with 328 million-euro turnover in 2007, which in 2008 is seeing a steep market share decline, after it reached 11% in the first 5 months, from 19% at the beginning of the year.
Green Energy, an energy trader with turnover close to 50 million euros in 2006, 12.5 times higher than in 2005, and 2.5 million-euro net revenues, last year derived 19.7 million euro turnover and losses worth 0.6 million euros.
 
Another trader that saw its revenues plunge last year is Energy Financing Team (EFT), a major company in the CEE region, which has been present in Romania for about two years. “The rising prices of some commodities and market volatility boosted electricity prices to record levels.
“This prompted the EFT to curb its long-term acquisitions in Romania to almost zero. Secondly, the poor trend of the euro-leu exchange rate that was registered during the year had a negative impact on income,” said the representatives of EFT Romania, which derived 49 million-euro turnover last year, up from the 32.8 million-euro level posted in 2006.
 
Other companies, such as Enol, Beny Alex, Grivco, Ennet or Ezpada, last year registered dramatic slumps in turnover or net gains.
Analysts say this signals that the market is reaching maturity, with the possibility of increases such as those in 2005 and 2006 occurring again being almost zero. “The market has developed its mechanisms and it was only natural to reach this point.
“We can see many companies trying to diversify their operations by approaching some segments such as energy generation from renewable or conventional sources.
 
“Another business is now becoming interesting: attracting European funds, which are quite abundant,” says Jean Constantinescu, former chairman of the National Energy Regulatory Authority.
Companies that succeeded, however, in repeating the financial performances of 2006 and 2007 include Petprod, the second private player on the market, Euro Pec and Elcomex.
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