Wind energy Iberdrola Renovables lifts first quarter earnings 10% to ?172 million

Iberdrola Renovables lifts first quarter earnings 10% to €172 million. The Company again improved efficiency and increased cash flow by 13.2% to €378 million. Gross operating profit (Ebitda) from renewables energy business rose 9.3% to €428.3 million.

Operating wind turbines capacity was 16.6% higher at 12,584 megawatts with 61.4% of new capacity corresponding to the United States. Production rose 12.1% to 7,636 million kWh), driven by strong performance in the U.S. (+47.9%) and the UK (+22.9%).

Iberdrola Renovables, world leader in wind power, recorded a net profit of €171.9 million in the first quarter of 2011, a rise of 10.1% over the same period last year.

Gross operating income (Ebitda) rose 2.6% to €452.7 million, while Ebitda from renewables business was 9.3% higher at €428.3 million. Wind power business contributed €418.9 million to Ebitda, 92.5% of the total.

By country, Spain accounted for 50.4% of Ebitda, the U.S. for 25.7%, the UK 7.7% and the Rest of the World area 10.8%, while gas business accounted for 5.4%.

Operating wind farm capacity rose 16.6% to 12,584 megawatts (MW), with 61.4% of the increase corresponding to new capacity in the U.S. where the government maintains its firm commitment to renewable energy.

Iberdrola Renovables was 16.6% higher produced 7,636 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in the quarter, an increase of 12.1% which was driven largely by strong performance in the U.S. wind power business where output rose 47.9% and also in the UK where it increased 22.9%.

Solid business performance in renewable energy and improved prices in most markets where the Company operates contributed to a 13.2% rise in strong cash flow generation to €378 million.

The Company thus maintained its world leadership both in operating capacity and production, and currently has 1,030 MW under construction. Cost control efforts meanwhile enabled a 1.5% efficiency gain compared to the first quarter of 2010.

During the first quarter, the Company started up the El Andévalo (Huelva) wind farm with capacity of nearly 300 MW, making it the largest in continental Europe.

Outside Spain, Iberdrola Renovables achieved a 50% market share in Hungary after starting up 70 MW of new wind power capacity at the Amundsen, Scott and Csoma II wind farms. The Company is developing another 100 MW in new wind power projects in this country, thus consolidating its Eastern European presence.

The Company obtained all permits required for the extension of the Whitelee and Black Law wind farms, which will become two of the three largest installations in Scotland, and has acquired the 26 MW Bii Nee Stipa wind farm in Mexico.