German utility E.ON, which is currently trying to acquire Spain's Endesa SA in a E37.1 billion deal, has posted a loss for the third quarter.

The Duesseldorf-based firm says that it lost E198 million in the July-September period. Analysts had predicted a profit of E716.3 million, following a profit of a E3.37 billion in 2005, which was boosted by the sale of its Viterra and Ruhrgas businesses.

However, sales did rise 10.5% from E11.34 billion to E12.53 billion.

E.ON’s bid for Endesa has met opposition in Spain. In September, the European Commission ruled that the country had broken EU law by imposing restrictions on E.ON’s proposed acquisition.

E.ON’s bid represents its strategy of expanding into southern Europe and entering new electricity markets to boost revenue growth.

Shares in E.ON were down 0.5% to E93.45 in Frankfurt trading following the results announcement.