MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish utility Endesa SA on Monday reported a more than doubling of first-quarter net profit to 844 million euros ($920.80 million) compared with 363 million in the same period last year.
The company said the rise in net income was due mainly to savings from a collective-bargaining agreement with staff.
“There was no evidence of significant impact arising from the health crisis (COVID-19),” the company said in a statement. Spain’s state of emergency lockdown was announced towards the end of the quarter on March 14.
Income in the first quarter totalled 5 billion euros, down by 16 million euros or 0.3% from the first quarter of 2019.
Excluding the collective bargaining agreement and certain restructuring provisions, net income was up 59% year-on-year.
“Endesa’s good first-quarter results will leave us in better shape to face the impact of COVID-19 in the second quarter,” Endesa’s CEO Jose Bogas said.
He said the company was considering speeding up planned investments, especially in wind and solar plants, to help “jump-start the economy by creating jobs and generating wealth.”
Endesa highlighted the possible effects of the coronavirus in future quarters, among them difficulty in accessing financial markets and staffing difficulties due to lockdown measures.
“Adverse economic conditions due to uncertainty about the impact of COVID-19 may have a negative impact on demand for energy and on the ability of the company’s counterparties to meet their payment commitments,” it said.
Italy’s Enel has a controlling stake in Endesa.
($1 = 0.9166 euros)
(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Jessica Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman)