FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German energy group Innogy, which is being broken up by parent RWE and rival E.ON, on Tuesday said operating profit fell more than a fifth in the first quarter as it continued to lose customers in Britain.
First-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 22 percent to 964 million euros (836 million pounds), lower than the 976 million euro average forecast in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.
A mix of tough competition and regulatory intervention has made life difficult for established utilities in Britain, causing E.ON and Centrica to warn of the deteriorating market conditions a day earlier.
"In the company's UK retail business ... the persistently poor market environment resulted in a decline in customer numbers," Innogy said on Tuesday, keeping its 2019 outlook.
In Britain, Innogy lost 103,000 customers in the first three months. On a group level, however, the company won 14,000 customers in the period, driven by its home market Germany, where it added clients on a net basis.
A part of the breakup deal, Innogy's renewable business will go to parent RWE while its network and retail business will be integrated by E.ON, a deal that is expected to close in the second half of the year.
(This story corrects figures in first and seconmd bullet points and penultimate paragraph)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Michelle Martin and David Goodman)