UPDATE 1-Spain's Gas Natural full-year net profit up 1.2 pct, misses forecast

martes 17 de febrero de 2015 04:45 GYT

* One-time gains offset by regulatory and accounting hits

* Company now gets 45 percent of core profit from overseas (Adds more details, background)

MADRID Feb 17 (Reuters) - Spanish utility Gas Natural Fenosa reported a 1.2 percent rise in full-year net profit on Tuesday, as one-time gains from the sale of its telecoms business were offset by regulatory and accounting hits.

Spanish utilities' profits have been under pressure from new regulatory measures including a power generation tax and subsidy cuts, part of a sweeping industry overhaul.

Gas Natural's profit came at 1.46 billion euros ($1.66 billion) in 2014, missing a 1.53 billion euros forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts. Core profit was 0.1 percent higher at 4.85 billion euros, slightly above expectations.

Barcelona-based Gas Natural said it had booked gains worth 252 million euros from the sale of the telecoms arm but had reduced the accounting value of its Damietta gas plant in Egypt, which has been halted for months, by 485 million euros.

It also took a 141 million euro hit from the tighter regulation of the gas industry in Spain.

The company is putting more emphasis on its international operations, which now generate about 45 percent of core profit. But the impact on full-year core profit from weaker Latin American currencies against the euro increased by 70 million euros from a year ago, mainly due to the Brazilian real and Colombian peso.

In November, Gas Natural acquired Chilean electricity distributor CGE in a 2.55 billion euros all-cash deal that pushed up its debt to 16.94 billion euros, or 3.2 times core earnings. ($1 = 0.8813 euros) (Reporting by Julien Toyer and Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Paul Day, David Holmes and Jane Merriman)