Despite higher sales, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were down 12.1% from 2007 at E229.8 million. Group net profit for the first half of 2008 was E127.2 million, compared to E145.1 million for the same period in 2007.

Werner Brinker, CEO of EWE, said: Electricity and gas purchase costs have shot up in the last 12 months. We were forced to pass these costs on to our customers. The delay between these two events had a negative impact on our result.