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Energy

Portugal EDP's profit drops 22% as pandemic hits power usage

LISBON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Portugal’s largest utility, EDP, reported on Thursday a 22% drop in first-half net profit to 315 million euros ($372 million), hit by a sharply lower energy consumption in Iberia and Brazil due to the coronavirus pandemic. EDP said the drop in power usage in Portugal during the lockdown had also led the company to announce the closure of Sines coal plant in 2021, earlier than planned, “which implied the booking of a one-off cost of 130 million euros”. Portugal’s economy contracted a record 16.3% in the second quarter from a year earlier due to a six-week lockdown in March-May and other restrictions, some of which are still in force to stem the spread of the virus. EDP, whose main shareholder is China Three Gorges, said in a statement its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) contracted 3% to 1.87 billion euros. EDP’s wind energy subsidiary EDP Renewables, reported earlier on Thursday a 26% fall in net profit to 255 million euros, with its revenues falling 9% to 913 million euros.

$1 = 0.8460 euros Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, editing by Andrei Khalip

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