November 28, 2019 / 8:23 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 2-Power firm Innogy continues to shed customers in Britain

* British unit Npower lost 261,000 customers in Q3

* Npower 9-month adj operating loss 167 mln eur

* Had to take 200 mln eur impairment on Nordsee Ost (Recasts, adds context on Britain)

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT, Nov 28 (Reuters) - German energy group Innogy on Thursday said it was continuing to lose clients in Britain, where a price cap has increased pressure on the ‘Big Six’ energy providers.

Npower, Innogy’s British retail unit, lost 261,000 customers during the third quarter, bringing total customer losses to 447,000 so far this year. The division posted a nine-month adjusted operating loss of 167 million euros ($184 million).

Npower’s problems will soon be an issue for German utility E.ON.

E.ON acquired Innogy’s retail and networks assets as part of an asset swap with the company’s former parent RWE while Innogy’s renewable activities, along with those at E.ON, will become part of RWE under the deal.

Profits from supplying gas and electricity at Britain’s six largest energy firms sank by more than a third last year as they continued to lose customers to smaller rivals, a report by energy market regulator Ofgem said last month.

Apart from Npower, big players in the British market include Centrica’s British Gas, E.ON, SSE, EDF’s EDF Energy and Iberdrola’s Scottish Power.

E.ON will report nine-month results on Friday and management, when asked about Npower, has said it would not tolerate a loss-making business for long. Npower is expected to post an operating loss of 250 million euros in 2019.

Innogy also said that had to book about 200 million euros in impairments related to its Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm, triggered by the bankruptcy of service provider Senvion earlier this year.

$1 = 0.9073 euros Editing by Toby Chopra

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