Finnish Fortum's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled €543 million in the first quarter of 2020, from €545 million in the same quarter of 2019, the company announced on Friday.
CEO Pekka Lundmark said that operationally, Fortum has managed well under the challenging circumstances with heat production running smoothly.
"Our other operations are running normally with employees mainly working remotely. So far Covid-19 has not had any major immediate effects on Fortum’s business," he said.
He did concede, however, that the market environment during the first quarter was volatile and challenging.
He noted that by December 2019, wetter weather in the Nordic states continued to depress prices substantially at the beginning of 2020.
Further price pressure came from the oil price plunge as well as the novel coronavirus pandemic, he said.
"In March, the 'price war' on oil and the Covid-19 pandemic shocked the market. This put further downward pressure on the already depressed commodities and Nordic power prices. Even though several countries are slowly easing the restrictions put in place to limit the spreading of the virus, it is still impossible to determine the long-term economic effects of the pandemic," he said.
By Murat Temizer