March 22 (Renewables Now) - Italian utility Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) said on Thursday renewables and networks were once again its main growth drivers in 2018 and reported a 26.7% rise in net profit to EUR 4.79 billion (USD 5.46bn).
Revenues gained 1.4% in annual terms and reached EUR 75.67 billion, in line with guidance.
The improved results for the year stem from increased revenues from the renewables business, on the free market in Italy, a drop in net financial expenses and Enel’s takeover of Enel Distribuicao Sao Paulo (BVMF:ELPL3), which is the new name of the rebranded Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo. These positive effects managed to “more than offset” adverse exchange rates developments in some regions, particularly South America, Enel noted.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the past year climbed by 4.5% to EUR 16.35 billion thanks to higher margins of the renewable energy and other businesses.
Enel has proposed to distribute a dividend of EUR 0.28 per share for 2018, half of which has already been allocated as an interim payout.
The following table shows more details about Enel’s performance in 2018.
|Figures in EUR million||2018||2017|
(net of extraordinary items)
|Group net ordinary income||4,060||3,709|
|Net financial debt||41,089||37,410|
In 2018, the group installed more than 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity. Its power plants produced a total of 250.3 TWh of electricity, compared to 249.9 TWh in 2017. The increase came mainly thanks to the higher output of its facilities in Brazil, Peru, North and Central America, which offset a drop in Spain. Generation by Enel’s renewables assets accounted for 39% of the overall electricity production in 2018.
CEO and general manager Francesco Starace said that the company achieved a "very solid set of results" and met all of its strategic goals.
Enel’s expectations for 2019 are for a net ordinary income of around EUR 4.8 billion, ordinary EBITDA of EUR 17.4 billion and minimum dividend distribution of EUR 0.32 per share. On the renewables front, the utility intends to step up investments by over 35% as compared to 2018 levels, putting a focus on North America.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.139)