10 May 2024

Green Energy Production in Italy Boosts Enel's Q1 Results

10 May 2024  by reuters   

A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen at the Milan's headquarter, Italy, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
Italian utility Enel (ENEI.MI), opens new tab said on Thursday its first-quarter core profit rose 12% year-on-year driven by a strong recovery in renewable energy production at home.

Ordinary earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 6.1 billion euros ($6.6 billion), beating a consensus of 5.73 billion euros among analysts polled by LSEG.

Between January and March, Italy accounted for more than half of the group's ordinary EBITDA thanks to an increase in the country's core profit to 3.2 billion euros from 1.9 billion euros last year.

On the contrary, Spanish subsidiary Endesa (ELE.MC), opens new tab, which last year had boosted its parent company's results, acted as a drag, hit by a fall in electricity and gas prices in Iberia.

The contribution from Latin America was flat compared with last year while North America was slightly up.

Enel's Italian business benefited from both a recovery in hydroelectric production, but also from growth at its generation and trading business. The performance of the grids business was slightly up year on year.

The new management team lead by CEO Flavio Cattaneo launched a cost-cutting plan last year and pledged to focus investments on regulated assets such as power grids, while being more selective on renewable energy projects.

"The cost cutting plan is going better than expected with 300 million euros already achieved," said Chief Financial Officer Stefano De Angelis, adding that Enel might increase its total goal of 1 billion euro savings in the medium term.

Funds from operations were up 800 million euros to 4.4 billion euros, increasing the chances of a dividend payment higher than the baseline of 0.43 euros per share.

Net financial debt rose slightly to 60.7 billion euros at the end of March, from 60.2 billion euros at the end of 2023, but De Angelis said he was confident the group would complete the bulk of planned 6.3 billion euro disposals by June.

The group confirmed its 2024 guideline for both EBITDA and net income.


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