* Solar ops seen doubling cash flow contribution mid-term
* Will analyse partial divestments, partnerships in 2009
* Focus on growth without new capital in 2009
* Shares lose 6.93 pct to 10.48 euros
(Adds detail from conference call, share price, analyst
By Judy MacInnes
MADRID, Feb 24 Spain's Abengoa (ABG.MC) said on
Tuesday it was betting on the U.S. market for medium-term
growth, due to the positive environment for the renewables
business as a result of the government's stimulus plans.
Abengoa's U.S. operations' contribution to its revenues was
seen nearly tripling to 30 percent mid-term from 2008, while its
solar business was expected to become the key earnings driver,
doubling its contribution to gross cash flow at the group.
"Solar energy is the next big thing in renewables ... costs
are decreasing steadily and regulation is in place in many
countries," one executive said in a 2008 results presentation.
"The outlook is very positive (for the U.S. market) as a
result of the Obama government's stimulus plan. I see this as
something new we can count on for developing projects in the
future," he said.
Abengoa's bioenergy business would also fuel earnings
growth, particularly in the U.S. and Brazilian markets, where
new capacity had come on stream.
The company met forecasts with a 17 percent rise in 2008 net
profit to 140.4 million euros ($179 million) from a year ago.
Reuters survey of six analysts had forecast a profit of
137.6 million euros.
Net revenues rose 17 percent to 3.11 billion euros, its
order book reached a record 2.64 billion euros at end-December.
Net debt stood at 486.4 million euros at end-2008, up from
234.3 million a year earlier.
Management said the financial priorities for 2009 included
cutting to minimum non-committed or non-funded capex and
focusing on its cost cutting plan.
The company said it would also continue to analyse potential
partial divestments and partnerships, but management declined to
comment on the status of talks to sell its Nasdaq-listed IT arm
Last week, Spanish IT specialist Indra (IDR.MC) said it was
in talks to buy Telvent, but that no agreement had been reached.
At 1406 GMT, Abengoa shares lost 6.84 percent to 10.49,
while the IBEX35 index .IBEX fell 1.03 percent.
"The results were broadly in line and the conference call
seems overall positive. But in a market such as we are seeing
these days, with low volumes, the fluctuations in share prices
are very sharp and not necessarily related to anything
fundamental," a Madrid-based analyst said.
"In general a mixed set of results, with sales and EBITDA
below our estimates," ESR analysts said.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Paul Day and Rupert
($1 = 0.7848 euro)