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Low winds in Europe hit developer earnings

WORLDWIDE: Dong Energy recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of DKK 3.29 billion (€442 million) in its 2017 first quarter, just under half the total from the same period a year earlier.

Dong CFO Marianne Wiinholt: Lower Q1 earnings down to timing of divestment
Dong CFO Marianne Wiinholt: Lower Q1 earnings down to timing of divestment

Chief financial officer Marianne Wiinholt said earnings were in line with expectations as Q1 of 2016 had been particularly high following the sale of a share of the Burbo Bank Extension project to Danish pension fund PKA and investment firm Kirkbi.

Dong is expected to complete divestment of part of the 660MW Walney Extension project later in 2017, Wiinholt said.

Dong's operating offshore wind farms produced 2.1TWh of electricity in Q1, hampered by lower wind speeds in January, but still a record quarterly production total. Earnings from the operating projects was up 21%, according to Dong.

The Burbo Bank Extension site was commissioned in May, and a further five offshore projects are under construction.

Dong reconfirmed its expectations for 2017, with Ebitda reaching DKK 15-17 billion.

Ebitda in Iberdrola's renewables division fell 5% in Q1 compared with last year, on the back of low wind speeds in Spain and the UK. Iberdrola posted net profit of €827.6 million in Q1, a fall of 4.7% year-on-year, but said it expects to reach its 2017 outlook.

Renewables earnings were €434 million in Q1, around 23% of the group's total earnings, which fell 8.2% to €1.86 billion.

Iberdrola said renewables accounted for 46% of its €1.02 billion investment. The group also reported an income of €255 million from the Siemens-Gamesa merger, in which Iberdrola reduced its stake in the Spanish manufacturer from 20% to 8%.

EDP Renewables' net profit fell 9% to €68 million, with Ebitda down 2% to €373 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Revenue rose 4% to €528 million thanks to increased generation in North America and Brazil. Load factors from its generating assets in Europe fell four percentage points compared with 2016, which enjoyed "outstanding" wind resource, the developer said. The firm also suffered an increase of about $9 million in operational costs due to the timings of property taxes in the US.

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