Shell (NYSE:SHEL) said Thursday it is considering exiting its European domestic energy unit in the wake of “tough market conditions,” as the low-margin business has struggled during the past year with European power and gas retailers under stress.
Shell (SHEL) said it has launched a strategic review of the businesses in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, which likely will take a few months.
Shell’s (SHEL) U.K. power and gas retail unit required £1.2B (~$1.5B) of financial backing from the parent company last year to withstand intense volatility in energy markets.
“If Shell were to exit the U.K. retail electricity business, it would be positive for shareholders,” RBC analyst Biraj Borkhataria said. “This is a low margin business that is never likely to be scalable enough to be meaningful for Shell. Better to focus on strategic growth priorities like LNG.”
Shell Energy Retail, its U.K. business, has 1.4M customers, while its German business has 110K customers and the Dutch business has 15K.
Shell’s (SHEL) low valuation is “well-deserved, owing to the risks posed by its court-mandated clean energy transition,” Acutel wrote in an analysis posted recently on Seeking Alpha.