Portugal’s EDPR sells U.S. wind energy stake for $230 mln

EDPR, the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer, has sold a 49 percent stake in wind farms in the United States to Canadian pension fund Borealis for $230 million.

EDPR said on Tuesday that the portfolio comprised four wind farms totalling 599 megawatts (MW), installed in 2007/08, all of which have long-term power purchase agreements in place.

The enterprise value of purchased assets was $1.4 billion, which includes equity and outstanding liabilities, EDPR said.

The sale is part of the Portuguese company’s strategy to reduce its risk profile, which it said would enable it to invest in the development of “quality and value-accretive projects”.

Separately, EDPR beat expectations with a 48 percent rise in nine-month net profit on rising power generation and higher average prices. Europe was the main driver of output growth, particularly central and eastern Europe.

EDPR shares jumped 5 percent after the announcement, outperforming the broader Lisbon market, which was up 0.3 percent.

EDP Renewables (EDP Renováveis, Euronext: EDPR), a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s third-largest wind energy producer, today announced that in the first nine months of 2012 electricity output increased by 11% YoY to 13.3 TWh, as a result of the capacity growth over the last 12 months ( 458 MW),an average load factor of 29% and a technical availability of 97.3%,all of which reflect the company’s balanced, high performing asset portfolio.9M 2012 revenues increased 22% to €936million, outpacing volume growth thanks to the 11% average increase in selling prices in the period. EBITDA grew 23% YoY to €675 million, which resulted in a 72% EBITDA margin. EBIT increased 44% YoY as a result of the solid operating growth and the extension of the useful life of EDPR’s operating assets to 25 years (introduced in 2Q 2011). Profitability per MW in operation rose by 14% to €95.1 thousand (EBITDA/avg MW).

Net debt as at 30 Septemberwas €3.5 billion, only €120 million above 2011 levels, while cost of debt was kept under control having been reduced by 30 bps to 5.3%. The operating cash flow of €532 million, up 8%, clearly exceeded the €504 million of investments in the period (Capex and working capital related with PP&E suppliers).

Reported net profit in the period increased 48% to €92.6 million. On alike-for-like basis, net profit rose 31% when adjusted forthe change in the operating assets’ useful life to 25 years, introduction of deferred tax accounting in the US, forex differences, capital gains, excess of provisions and write-offs/impairments. Such solid performance mainly reflects the higher profitability achieved in the period and the controlled cost of debt.

EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR), headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a global leader in the renewable energy sectorand the world’s third-largest wind energy producer. With a sound development pipeline, first class assets and market-leading operating capacity, EDPR has undergone exceptional development in recent years and is currently present in 11 markets (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the US, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the UK and Romania). Energias de Portugal, S.A. (“EDP”), the majority shareholder of EDPR, is a global energy company and a leader in value creation, innovation and sustainability. EDP is Portugal’s largest industrial group and the only Portuguese company to form part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (World and STOXX).