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Enel profits boost helps fuel growth ambitions

Renewables-focused Italian energy group Enel recorded an increase in net income in the past year as it eyes new acquisitions in the upcoming period.

Enel reported a 17% boost to its profit in the past 12 months to €2.6bn ($2.8bn) compared to €2.2bn year-on-year.

As a result, Enel plans to achieve “additional progress in active portfolio management, which in the first half of 2017 envisages acquisitions totaling €1.2bn and an increase of €400m in the equity stakes held in two Romanian companies”.

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The group is also planning to launch “the second phase of corporate simplification” in Latin America, as it aims to improve efficiency and improve finances, it said.

As previously disclosed, the group lowered its spending forecasts to €20.9bn between 2017 and 2019, from €21.2bn under the previous plan.

In November 2016 Enel unveiled a strategy including a bid to build on “exponential growth” of its renewables business, using a model that is designed to underpin the addition of 6.7GW of new plant over the next three years.

Meanwhile, revenues last year amounted to €70.6bn, down 6.7% on the €75.7bn in the previous year, due to the lower sale of electricity in mature markets, lower revenues from distribution tariffs in Italy and unfavourable exchange rates, notably in Latin America.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) remained flat at €15.3bn. However, the company’s debt climbed by 3% to €37.6bn at the end of 2016.

Last year, Enel generated 261.8 TWh of electricity, compared to 284 TWh in 2015.