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Norway's Statkraft Q3 earnings soar on higher power prices

OSLO (Reuters) - Operating profit at Norway's largest utility Statkraft rose to 9.0 billion Norwegian crowns ($894.4 million) in the third quarter, as high power prices offset lower production.

Statkraft's underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose from 4.6 billion Norwegian crowns a year ago.

Power generation was down by 20% to 12.2 terawatt hours (TWh) year-on-year as Statkraft sought to save water after reservoir filling levels in southern Norway dropped to historic lows due to dry weather earlier this year.

"Statkraft reduced its southern Norwegian hydropower generation considerably to store water for the coming winter," Chief Executive Christian Rynning-Toennesen said in a statement.

The benchmark Nordic system price for wholesale power averaged 176.35 euros/MWh over the quarter, up from 68.27 euros/MWh, in line with higher European prices due to the war in Ukraine.

($1 = 10.0630 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)