- Sales increase considerably as a result of higher gas prices
- Sales volumes rise slightly compared with previous year
- Earnings above previous year’s level
- Outlook 2012: significant sales increase, earnings decline as a result of ongoing pressure on margins
Sales to third parties increased by €1,897million to €8,869million, due largely to higher prices. At 417 billion kilowatt hours, sales volumes overall were slightly above the level of the previous year; in the international business, we increased our sales volumes by 11% to 184 billion kilowatt hours. WINGAS sold 11% of its volumes to BASF Group companies.
Compared with 2010, income from operations increased by €9 million to €425 million. Sales prices for oil-indexed natural gas generally follow those of oil with a time lag of several months. Increasing oil prices over the course of the year therefore had a negative effect on earnings. On the spot markets, the price level remained relatively low. This led to ongoing pressure on trading margins, which we were partially able to counteract with optimization measures in our purchasing.
We expect sales volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector to increase in 2012 despite the continued intense competition. As a result of the ongoing pressure on margins, we anticipate that, while sales will be considerably higher, earnings will nevertheless decline.