By Anna Perez and Christopher Bjork
MADRID--Spanish utility Iberdrola SA on Wednesday reported
rising operating income as its renewable energy and network
businesses grew and income from abroad was flattered by a weaker
euro, offset in part by weaker power generation.
Still, net profit at Spain's largest power company by market
value, edged down 0.7% to 841 million euros ($923.7 million)
compared with EUR847 million in the same period last year, due to
an absence of gains from asset sales. Last year's figure was
boosted by gains from the sale of Iberdrola's EDP-Energias de
Portugal SA (EDP.LB) stake.
Revenue rose 5.5% to EUR8.78 billion while earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew 8.8% to EUR2.14
billion, ahead of analysts' expectations. The strength of the U.S.
dollar and U.K. pound boosted sales from Iberdrola's operations in
the U.S. and the U.K., most of which saw growth in both their
electricity grid businesses and in renewable energy. The Latin
American business also performed well, while at home, a drop in
electricity production boosted prices of Iberdrola's output from
wind farms and hydroelectric plants.
Iberdrola said electricity generation fell 7.6% in the first
quarter from the previous year, dragged down by declines in Spain
and the U.S. But demand was higher in Spain, particularly among
industrial clients, which are starting to recover as the economy
rebounds after a six-year crisis.
"The company is doing well, our expectations are very positive
for the year," said Executive Chairman Ignacio Galan.
Iberdrola has recently focused investment outside Spain. In
February, it agreed to buy U.S. power and gas distributor UIL
Holdings Corp. (UIL) in a cash-and-stock deal that values the U.S.
firm at $3 billion, and it has also bet aggressively on building
off-shore wind parks in the U.K. It is also building more power
plants in Mexico, another key growth market for the Spanish
Mr. Galan said that Iberdrola plans to update its strategy in
the first quarter of 2016, once the U.S. acquisition has been
Write to Anna Perez and Christopher Bjork at firstname.lastname@example.org
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