Acciona takes €81m Q1 Spain hit

Spanish renewables group Acciona felt more pain from domestic regulatory changes in the first quarter of 2014 as Madrid’s cuts in payments to wind farms wiped out an estimated €81m ($111m) of profits.

Acciona posted a net profit of €33m for the January to March period, 3.55% down on the same stage last year.

But the company said the figure was bolstered by the positive impact of €28m from the sale of German wind assets. Without that, net profits would have been €20m lower.

The group’s biggest problem was the estimated €81m impact on pre-tax profits at its Acciona Energy division of the regulatory changes that came into force in Spain last July, reforms which have still to be fully defined.

Acciona has about 6GW of its global 8.5GW capacity base operating in the Spanish wind sector.

The support changes, along with some international project delays, pushed revenues down by 8.7% to €1.4bn.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell 19.3% year-on-year to €226m.

Acciona has made big inroads into emerging wind markets such as Brazil and Mexico, and has signalled that it plans to find an investor-partner for its international wind assets.