Italian energy giant Enel made €8.65bn ($10.2bn) in profits in the first half of 2020 — a fall of 2.9% compared to the same period last year, despite revenues falling by 18.5% as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, according to its 1H financial results.

Europe’s largest power company by market capitalisation said that while Ebitda fell from €8.91bn in H1 2019 to €8.65bn in 1H 2020, ordinary Ebitda (which excludes “extraordinary” items, including the cost of sanitising workplaces due to Covid-19) rose by 0.4% from €8.76bn to €8.79bn.

While total revenues fell from €40.97bn in the first half of 2019 to €33.38bn in 1H 2020 — mainly due to reduced volumes of electricity sold during national lockdowns — ordinary net income (excluding “extraordinary” write-downs) actually increased by 5.6%, the company said. This was due to the “improvement in ordinary operating performance, by the decrease in financial expense and by lower non-controlling interests”.

Enel Green Power, the company’s renewables arm, saw a 1% increase in ordinary Ebitda year-on-year — from €2.274bn to €2,296bn; while its innovation unit, Enel X, which includes electric-vehicle charging, demand response and energy storage, saw a 65.3% reduction in ordinary Ebitda, falling from €72m to €25m.

Enel’s renewables capacity grew from 45.8GW at the end of last year to 46.4GW by 30 June, with a total of about 49GW expected by the end of this year.

The company says it has 44GW of renewables in its “mature pipeline” — 47% of which is wind and 52% solar — with a further 58GW in its “early stage pipeline”.

Enel produced 52% of its electricity from renewables in the first half of 2020 (56.2TWh), 13% from nuclear and 35% from thermal generation (33.8TWh). The latter figure represented a 35.7% year-on-year drop.

Enel shut down 2.1GW of coal-fired generation (all in Spain) in the first half of this year — reducing its 11.7GW of coal capacity at the end of 2019 to 9.6GW on 30 June. But its remaining coal plants were used much less in the first six months of this year — generating 37.6TWh of coal-fired electricity throughout 2019, but only 6.1TWh in 1H 2020.

At the end of June, the Italian company owned 27.83GW of hydro, 10.66GW of wind, 3.52GW of solar, 880MW of geothermal, 3.32GW of nuclear, 9.63GW of coal, 15GW of combined-cycle gas, and 11.86GW of “oil & gas” generation — a total of 82.71GW.

Enel plans to decarbonise all its electricity production by 2050.