Independent power producer RRI Energy has posted lower than expected fourth-quarter results, hurt by energy unit margins.

The firm reported a loss of $270m for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to a loss of $325m for Q4 2008.

RRI posted EBITDA of $56m for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with $40m for the same period in 2008.

Earnings for the year 2009 stood at $185m for 2009, compared to $545m for 2008.

To mitigate risk in the near term RRI sold its retail business eliminating about $3bn of collateral obligations and contingent capital, reduced gross debt by $540m and maintained a liquidity for $1.6bn.

RRI has presented a forward outlook, based on difficult market conditions, for open EBITDA at $367m for 2010 and $366m for 2011.