Vattenfall back in profit, CEO off

The hunt is on for a new CEO at Vattenfall – the Swedish utility that is a significant investor in European wind power – after incumbent Oystein Loseth said he will not renew his contract.

Loseth told Vattenfall’s board he will not seek to extend his current contract beyond its March 2015 expiry, citing personal reasons.

The board said it will start seeking a successor to Loseth, who has held the job since 2010.

The news of Loseth’s impending departure came as Vattenfall announced third-quarter financial results.

Its wind output was 0.7TWh in the July to September period, unchanged on the equivalent quarter last year.

Vattenfall’s net profit was SKr1.54bn, turning around a loss of SKr3.97bn in Q3 2012.

Loseth said low power prices were putting pressure on all producers, but cost-cuts and hedging had helped to keep Vattenfall’s underlying profits stable.

Under Loseth’s leadership Vattenfall has developed major wind projects across Europe, and earlier this year set out plans to invest SKr19bn ($3bn) over the next five years, split between onshore and offshore.

Its offshore projects include Dan Tysk in Germany, and Thanet and Ormonde in the UK, where it is also co-developing the giant 7.2GW East Anglia Round 3 zone with Iberdrola.

Earlier this year Vattenfall committed to the 228MW Pen y Cymoedd onshore wind farm in Wales and opened its largest onshore project so far in the Netherlands.