The Red Eléctrica Group has obtained a net profit of €191 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to €189.1 million in the same period of the previous year, representing an increase of 1%. Revenue in the period was 0.6% higher than in 2018 and stood at €499.7 million, in line with the targets set out in the Strategic Plan.
Supply costs and other operating expenses fell 2.5% compared with the first quarter of last year, highlighting the continuous effort that Red Eléctrica makes to improve efficiency.
The gross operating result (EBITDA) rose to €405.9 million, a growth of 0.9% compared to the first quarter of 2018.
For its part, Financial loss stood at -€35.1 million, compared with -€36.3 million recorded in the same period of last year. The main reason for this improvement is the lower interest paid as a result of the fall in finance costs, offset in part by a higher average balance of gross financial debt.
Corporate tax totalled €62.9 million. The effective tax rate stood at 24.8%, in line with the 25% rate defined in the Spanish Law 27/2014, of 27 November, on Corporate Income Tax .
The net financial debt of the Red Eléctrica Group stood at €4,584.2 million, a figure that is 2.1% lower than that reached at the end of 2018.
Activity of the Group
The operation of the electricity system has maintained high levels of service quality with an availability of more than 98% on the Spanish Peninsula, 98.7% on the Balearic Islands and 98.8% on the Canary Islands.
The activities of the Red Eléctrica Group are aimed at facilitating the energy transition and enabling proper integration of renewable energy sources, with the ultimate goal of driving progress towards a decarbonised economy. 39.7% of electricity generation in the first quarter of 2019 came from renewable sources and 64.7% of it was obtained using technologies which produce zero CO2 emissions.
Regarding the development of business abroad, in the first quarter of the year, €9.1 million were allocated to the construction of two new transmission lines in Latin America: one in the south of Peru between Montalvo and Los Héroes (Tesur 3) and the other in the north of Chile, in the Pozo Almonte area (Redenor).
Total investment by the Group during the first quarter of 2019 amounted to €71.8 million, up 0.7% on the same period of the previous year. Of this amount, €56.3 million were earmarked for the development of the transmission grid in Spain.
The credit rating agencies have positively assessed the stability of the Company's cash flows and solvency ratios with both Standard & Poor's and Fitch giving Red Eléctrica a long-term rating of 'A-' with a stable outlook.
The General Shareholders' Meeting, held on 22 March, approved a gross dividend of €0.9831 per share, minus the gross amount of €0.2727 per share paid out as an interim dividend on 8 January.
Acquisition of Hispasat
On 12 February 2019, Abertis Infraestructuras, S.A. and Red Eléctrica Corporación, S.A. reached an agreement for Red Eléctrica Corporación, through Red Eléctrica Sistemas de Telecomunicaciones, S.A.U., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Red Eléctrica Corporación, to acquire 89.68% of the Hispasat, S.A. shares currently held by Abertis. Since then, progress has been made in the corresponding authorisations necessary to complete the operation. In this regard, on 10 April 2019, the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) issued a resolution authorising the acquisition without imposing conditions. Once the remaining pending authorisations are obtained, payment will be issued for the transaction.
Furthermore, on 17 April 2019, the Council of Ministers authorised Red Eléctrica Sistemas de Telecomunicación, S.A.U. to acquire all shares owned by Abertis Telecom Satélites, S.A.U. in the Company Hispasat, S.A.
Additionally, the Council of Ministers authorised a new shareholder agreement signed by Red Eléctrica Sistemas de Telecomunicación, S.A.U., the Spanish state-owned industrial holding company (SEPI), the Centre for Industrial Technological Development, and Hispasat, S.A. Moreover, it authorised Red Eléctrica Sistemas de Telecomunicación, S.A.U. to acquire shareholding position of Hispasat, S.A. in the share capital of Hisdesat Servicios Estratégicos, S.A.