Italy’s largest utility, Enel, has expressed a positive view on its business, despite a Q1 profit drop, which saw the company income decrease to EUR782m ($1.1bn) from EUR852m 12 months ago.
Fulvio Conti, who is shortly due to be replaced by Francesco Starace as group CEO paid tribute to the group’s performance.
The results “confirm the validity of the group’s strategy of geographic and technological diversification, as well as the managerial actions mostly taken to enhance efficiency and reduce costs,” he said in an email statement. “This choice enables Enel Green Power to reduce overall risk and to couple significant positioning in Italy and mature markets, where a challenging scenario still persists, to growth in emerging countries, where most of the additional 4,600 MW of capacity under the current Business Plan is located. Such a target has already been secured for more than half through projects under construction.”
The utility, which sells electricity to 61 million clients in 40 countries, is investing in developing markets to offset its weaker performance in Europe where the economic crisis has curbed power demand in its key countries, Italy and Spain. Enel generated a total 68 terawatt hours in the quarter, down 3 percent from the same period a year ago.
The statement also noted that “the gradual emergence of the mature European markets from the crisis expected for 2014 was not yet reflected in energy demand in the first quarter of the year.”
In Italy, demand continued to contract (by a seasonally adjusted -3.5 per cent), with a further moderate decrease in Spain (by a seasonally adjusted -0.6 per cent). Conversely, the emerging economies continue to register rapid growth in demand, despite the deterioration in economic conditions.
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