RWE expects profits to fall in 2021 on Texan cold spell

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - RWE, Europe's third-largest renewables group, expects operating profit to decline in 2021, blaming a cold spell in Texas that caused a temporary shutdown of some of its local wind farms.

Adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) are seen at 2.65 billion to 3.05 billion euros ($3.16-$3.64 billion) this year, down as much as 17% compared with 2020. Adjusted operating profit (EBIT) is seen at 1.15 billion to 1.55 billion euros, down from 1.8 billion last year.

RWE had already warned of a profit hit last month, saying freezing temperatures in Texas put onshore wind farms out of service and forced the company to buy electricity at sky-rocketing prices.

It said that 880 million euros the group will get in German compensation for forcing them to shut their nuclear plants early in response to the Fukushima disaster are not reflected in the 2021 outlook as it is a non-operating effect.

The company, Germany's largest power producer, intends to raise its dividend for 2021 to 0.90 euros per share from 0.85 euros to be paid for 2020, it said.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Emma Thomasson)