Natural Gas Trading
- Sales rise significantly due to higher gas volumes and sales prices
- Earnings increase considerably, based mostly on higher contribution from transport business
- Outlook 2013: decline in sales and earnings owing to lower prices and weaker sales margins
As a result of higher volumes and prices, sales to third parties in 2012 rose by €2,501 million to €11,370 million. Overall sales volumes of 471 billion kilowatt hours were significantly above the level of the previous year. In business outside Germany, we increased our volumes by 23% to 226 billion kilowatt hours. WINGAS sold 9% of its volumes to BASF Group companies outside of the Oil & Gas segment.
Income from operations improved by €57 million to €482 million. This substantial earnings increase was largely supported by higher contributions from the transport business due to the first full year of operation for the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link (OPAL). The significance of oil-price-indexed procurement volumes continued to decrease in 2012. Prices rose slightly on spot markets over the course of the year. Pressure remained high on margins, which we were able to counteract with optimization measures in our purchasing. Earnings from the natural gas trading business matched the level of the previous year.
Lower price levels and weaker sales margins will likely lead to a decline in sales and earnings in 2013.