February 29, 2016 / 11:53 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 3-Spain's Abengoa posts 1.2 bln euro net loss, debt rises

* Abengoa debt up by 492 mln euros in Q4

* Gross corporate debt also up q/q

* U.S. affiliate postpones decision on Q4 div until Q2 (Adds more results details, background)

MADRID, March 1 (Reuters) - Spain’s Abengoa, on the brink of becoming the country’s largest-ever bankruptcy, said on Monday its debt had risen by 492 million euros ($535 million) in 2015’s fourth quarter, as it posted a full-year net loss of 1.2 billion euros.

The Seville-based energy firm, racing to reach an agreement with its banks and bondholders, said its gross corporate debt at the end of 2015 totalled 9.395 billion euros, up from 8.903 billion euros at the end of September.

It faces a full-blown insolvency process if it fails to agree on a wide-ranging debt restructuring with creditors by March 28.

The company has already received emergency cash from some of its lenders to tide it over in recent months, after entering pre-insolvency proceedings last November when a potential corporate investor backed away.

While Abengoa’s financial liabilities fell last year to 16.6 billion euros from 25.2 billion euros, 2015 revenue was down 19.5 percent at 5.76 billion euros and operating income dropped 63 percent to 515 million euros.

The net loss of 1.2 billion euros, which compared with a 125 million euros profit in 2014, was mainly the result of a new valuation of the company’s assets as part of the new viability plan presented by the firm to creditors.

Abengoa started out 70 years ago as a business to design and make electricity meters and now operates solar power plants and has renewable energy projects spanning four continents.

But its aggressive expansion into the clean energy business since 2007 has been fuelled by taking on huge debts, which brought the company to its knees this year when its lenders refused to extend credit lines.

U.S. DIVIDEND DECISION POSTPONED

The company’s U.S. affiliate, Atlantica Yield, formerly known as Abengoa Yield, said early on Tuesday the board of directors would postpone a decision on the fourth quarter 2015 dividend until the second quarter.

The affiliate said on Nov. 6 it would pay a quarterly dividend in the fourth quarter of $0.43 per share.

In a press release, Atlantica Yield, in which Abengoa holds around 42 percent, said it had revised expectations for 2016 from a quarter earlier, including reductions in dividends, and initiated guidance on core profit.

Cash available for distribution (CAFD) for 2016 was seen at between $170 million and $200 million and dividends per share around $1.45 to $1.80, it said. That compared with a previous CAFD estimate of $287 million and a $2.10-$2.15 dividend projection in early November.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was expected at between $750 million and $800 million, it said. ($1 = 0.9189 euros) (Reporting by Julien Toyer and Tomas Cobos; Writing by Angus Berwick and Paul Day; Editing by Peter Cooney and Mark Potter)

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