RWE is one of Europe’s five leading electricity and gas companies. Through our expertise in lignite production, in electricity generation from gas, coal, nuclear and renewables, and in energy trading as well as electricity and gas distribution and supply, we are active at all stages of the energy value chain. Around 60,000 employees supply over 16 million electricity customers and 7 million gas customers with energy, both reliably and at fair prices. In fiscal 2014, we recorded approximately €48 billion in revenue.
Europe is our market: in terms of sales, we are No. 3 in electricity and No. 5 in gas. In Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, we are among the largest suppliers of both fuels. In the Czech Republic, we are No. 1 in the gas business. We also have leading positions in other markets in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
The European energy sector is undergoing fundamental change. Political intervention is making our business challenging. In addition, the subsidised expansion of renewable energy in Germany is causing the margins and utilisation of conventional power stations to decline. All of this is having a significant effect on our earnings. To succeed in this environment, we launched the ‘RWE 2015’ programme. It includes comprehensive measures to reduce costs and increase revenue. By decreasing investment and reducing debt, we want to improve our financial flexibility. Moreover, we are striving for a corporate culture which encourages each individual to be creative and courageous enough to use change as a basis for making progress.
Despite difficult framework conditions, we want to play our part in the continued development of the European energy system, proving that we are trustworthy and high performing. We are investing in the expansion of renewable energy and the modernisation of network infrastructure. In addition, we take advantage of opportunities in the market which arise due to new customer demands by offering a wide range of innovative energy products and services.