Iberdrola earns 1,058 million until March, 3% more, despite the fall in its profit in Spain | Economy

Iberdrola headquarters in Bilbao, in a file image.
Iberdrola headquarters in Bilbao, in a file image.

The Spanish electricity company Iberdrola recorded a net profit of 1,058 million euros between January and March, 3% more than in the same period of 2021, thanks to the pull of its businesses in the United States (+33% year-on-year) and Brazil (+ 20%) and despite the decrease (-29%) in the result of its Spanish subsidiary. The group attributes this drop in its profits in the Spanish market, which already contributes less than a third of the total, to the fact that —according to its figures— 80% of the energy sold to free market customers is at prices “that are are between half and a third” below those of the regulated rate, according to the information sent this Wednesday to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

For the year as a whole, Iberdrola reiterates its profit forecast of between 4,000 and 4,200 million euros, with a growing contribution from the US and Brazil, a positive impact from foreign exchange rates and an improvement in the margin of its retail business in the United Kingdom. The remuneration for the shareholder in the whole of 2022 will start at 0.44 euros per share, although the company leaves the door open to raise it in line with the final earnings of the period.

By business branch, networks —the most stable and predictive— recorded an annual rise in EBITDA (gross operating profit) of 20%, to 1,587 million euros, while the area of ​​energy production and customers registered a decrease 6.8%, up to 1,360 million. Iberdrola justifies this decrease in “high energy prices, low renewable energy production and the unscheduled shutdown of the Cofrentes nuclear plant” in Valencia, which forced it to increase energy purchases on the market, at notably higher prices. than those of their own generation.

In the first quarter, Iberdrola’s operating cash flow grew by 32%, to exceed 3,000 million euros, and available liquidity rose to over 21,000 million, a sufficient figure to cover the financing needs of almost two years (22 months). 80% of the debt, highlights the company, is fixed-rate and long-term, something that is especially important at a time of generalized rise in interest rates.

Investments exceeded 2,100 million euros between January and March. 91% of that figure was allocated to new renewable capacity and networks, and 80% was outside Spain: 32% in the US; 18%, in Brazil; 15% in the UK; and 14%, in other countries.

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“The current crisis in the energy market demonstrates the need to accelerate the energy transition to achieve energy autonomy in Europe and decarbonise our economy,” says the Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, in the results presentation note. “For this, solutions based on the European framework and on a continuous dialogue between agents and administrations are needed”.

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