RWE divesting assets and cutting back on labor force
RWE, the German utility firm, is planning to reduce its workforce beyond its initial plans as well as sell off assets to reduce its overall costs. This comes as the company tries to overcome sluggish demand for energy in a struggling economy in Europe, according to its CEO.
German daily Die Welt quoted RWE CEO Peter Terium as saying, "We will have to make do fewer workers in the future." He made the comments a couple of days after RWE had announced plans to cut its 2013 dividend to about EUR1.00 per share. This caused the company's stock to plunge further.
In another move, RWE was planning to sell off its non-performing coal power stations in order to cut debt. The magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported the target buyers for the said properties were their own financial investors, according to an anonymous source with knowledge of the transaction.
Terium further said, "Dividends have to be earned and financed sustainably. If the company is doing its part through de-investments, spending cuts and lower costs, and if employees shoulder a major part of the burden, the the capital market has to contribute too."