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More generation helps utility EnBW's Q1 as it cuts imports from Russia

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FILE PHOTO: Flags of German power supplier EnBW Energie Baden-Wuertemberg AG are pictured at the company's headquarters in Karlsruhe
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - EnBW, Germany's third-largest energy firm, said on Friday it nearly doubled its quarterly profit after a weak first quarter of 2021 thanks to strong performance at its generation unit as it worked to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

EnBW, whose VNG unit is one of Germany's largest importers of Russian gas, said its net profit attributable to shareholders jumped around 90% to 606.3 million euros ($628.37 million) as earnings at its generation unit more than doubled.

The group said it had to ramp up trading and make greater use of conventional power plants to safeguard security of supply amid Russia's war in Ukraine, which boosted its earnings and allowed it to confirm 2022 targets.

"We are working flat out to substitute purchases of Russian gas and coal," finance chief Thomas Kusterer said in a statement, referring to the EU's plans to ban Russian coal from mid-August as part of sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Regarding gas, too, we are working hard towards a significant diversification of supply sources, above all by expanding our LNG activities," the CFO said.

Most recently, EnBW said it would buy 3 billion cubic metres of gas a year from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal planned at the northern German port of Stade on the Elbe river.

EnBW also said its renewable energy business made a larger-than-expected contribution to earnings thanks to windy weather in Germany over the first three months of 2022, and the addition of more renewable generation capacity.

($1 = 0.9649 euros)

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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