Dutch utility Nuon has reported a drop in its latest full year net profit of E375 million due to 'incidental items,' the firm said in a statement.

Nuon’s 2006 net profit came in at E763 million, compared to E1.1 billion for fiscal 2005. Meanwhile, turnover was E5.6 billion, up on the 2005 figure of E5 billion.

However, excluding incidental items, the Dutch energy outfit delivered 19% annual growth for both operating and net profit. Net profit for 2006 was E495 million. Elsewhere in the financial declaration, turnover excluding incidental items increased in 2006 by 14% to E5.4 billion, while the operating profit excluding incidental items increased 19% to E773 million.

The gross margin, expressed as a percentage of turnover, decreased from 43% in 2005 to 39% in 2006. The pressure on the gross margin is the direct consequence of increased purchase costs (gas, electricity and raw materials) and a decrease in the settled trading results. Against this, operating expenses decreased as a result of cost control measures and lower write-offs on debtors.

However, as seen by many of its peers, price pressures in the final quarter of the year resulted in disappointing figures. Both the operating profit and the net profit excluding incidental items were lower in the fourth quarter of 2006. The net profit after taxation for the fourth quarter of 2006 came to a loss of E10 million.