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German utility E.ON will shortly make a move toward planned expansion into new markets outside Europe, Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen told Germany's Boersen-Zeitung. "There will be a successful market entrance already in the first half of 2012," Teyssen was quoted as saying in an excerpt of an interview to be published on Saturday.

"The possible projects have currently reached a maturity that is making me optimistic," he added. E.ON has long been saying it is studying opportunities in Brazil, India and Turkey, where energy demand is growing more rapidly than in its European core markets.

Germany this year has been loss-making in both power generation margins and gas sales profitability, which has hit E.ON hard and triggered cost and job-cutting programmes.

Teyssen said the planned budget for expansion amounted to "several billion euros". He ruled out involvement in new nuclear power stations in any of the targeted countries.

E.ON last week suffered a setback in its ambitions for the Portuguese market when it lost a bid for a 21 percent stake in local utility EDP to China Three Gorges. Teyssen also said E.ON had concrete plans to bring on board US institutional investors for local wind park projects to free up some of its capital investment.

Copyright Reuters, 2011

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