Iberdrola confirms profit growth forecast for 2022 despite Spain’s first quarter collapse

Band Isla Binnie

MADRID, April 27 (Reuters)Iberdrola Global Wind Energy Group IBE.MC said on Wednesday it expects to hit its 2022 earnings forecast after growth in the United States and Brazil boosted first-quarter earnings despite a slump linked to high energy prices in its home market, Spain.

European energy prices hit historic highs as the dispute in Ukraine and fears of supply disruptions further tightened markets already thrown into chaos by the lingering effects of COVID-19.

Iberdrola recently became Europe’s largest utility by market value, overtaking its Italian counterpart and another early entrant in the renewable energy market Enel ENEI.MC.

The company generates electricity in wind and solar farms, nuclear reactors and gas-fired power plants in Europe and Latin America. It also owns and operates distribution networks and plans to supply electricity to 60 million customers worldwide by 2025.

Iberdrola attributed a 29% annual drop in net profit in Spain to the fact that it did not pass on the effect of high prices on to fixed-price customers, but said it still expects net profit for the full year to reach 4-4.2 billion euros ($4.25-4.46 billion).

Governments scrambled to find ways to protect voters’ pockets from rising prices, prompting Iberdrola to speak out against state intervention in its key markets.

VSExecutive Ignacio Galan called on Wednesday for “a continuous dialogue between market players and administrations”.

“The current crisis demonstrates the need to accelerate the energy transition to achieve energy self-sufficiency in Europe and decarbonize our economy,” he said in a statement.

Net profit of 1.05 billion euros was slightly above the estimate of 1.04 billion euros drawn by analysts polled by the company.

($1 = 0.9412 euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Louise Heavens)

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