November 12, 2019 / 5:16 PM / a month ago

Enel lifts earnings target after nine-month results top expectations

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Italy's biggest utility Enel is seen in Milan, Italy, May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest utility Enel (ENEI.MI) raised its core earnings target for the year on Tuesday after nine-month operating results topped expectations, lifted by its network business in Latin America.

The group said ordinary earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in the first nine months rose 10.5% to 13.268 billion euros (£11.43 billion or $14.6 billion), just above a consensus provided by the company of 13.209 billion euros.

For the full year, Enel, Italy’s biggest company by market capitalisation, said it expected to reach ordinary core earnings (EBITDA) of 17.8 billion euros, up from a previous forecast of 17.4 billion euros.

Net profit in the nine months to the end of September fell 73% to 813 million euros due to impairment charges on some of its coal-fired power plants.

One of the world’s biggest renewable energy companies, Enel is focusing its business on grids and green energy as it moves to phase out coal plants and decarbonise its business.

Enel CEO Francesco Starace said he confirmed the group’s target of installing 3 gigawatts (GW) of clean capacity by the end of the year.

“We are also working to increase our annual target of additional renewable capacity to 4 GW, starting in 2020.

The company said it would pay an interim dividend on 2019 results of 0.16 euros per share, up 14.3%.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by James Mackenzie

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