HELSINKI: Finland’s biggest utility Fortum reported an 11 per cent fall in its underlying second-quarter operating profit on Wednesday, dented by low power prices and the impact of coronavirus on its Russian business.Fortum said its second-quarter operating profit fell from a year ago to 207 million euros ($247 million), missing the 301 million euros expected by analysts in a Refinitiv poll.Fortum said Nordic spot power prices dropped 84 per cent from a year ago due to high reservoir water levels in Scandinavia, but its hedging activities cushioned the hit.The impact of the new coronavirus was limited in Nordics, Fortum said, but noted the situation was different in Russia. “In Russia, power consumption declined notably as a result of COVID-19 and lower demand from the oil and gas industries, pushing down the electricity market price,” Fortum Chief Executive Markus Rauramo said in a statement.The second-quarter results were the first for Fortum to incorporate its holdings in German utility Uniper, of which it now owns 75 per cent. “My number one short-term priority will be to have a joint strategy for the consolidated group by the end of the year,” said Rauramo, who started as Fortum CEO last month.
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