* H1 net 587 million euros vs f‘cast 460 million
* EBITDA 2.13 billion euros vs f‘cast 1.83 billion
* Net operating costs down 13 pct to 619 million (Adds CEO comments)
LISBON, July 30 (Reuters) - EDP-Energias de Portugal on Thursday posted a 7 percent fall in first-half net profit, hit by a severe drought in Brazil and the foreign exchange impact on its dollar-denominated debt.
Still, profit of 587 million euros ($641 million) was higher than expected by analysts, mainly thanks to one-off gains on asset deals such as an acquisition at a discount of a 50 percent stake in the Pecem 1 project in Brazil.
Net operating costs fell 13 percent to 619 million euros.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 7 percent to 2.13 billion euros. Analysts in a Reuters poll had on average predicted a net profit of 460 million and EBITDA of 1.83 billion.
Discounting one-offs, net profit would have fallen 23 percent while EBITDA would have still edged 1 percent higher, EDP said.
EDP’s total energy distribution fell 8 percent due to scarce water resources and a steep drop in natural gas volumes in Spain after EDP sold some distribution assets there in late 2014.
“The results are good considering the adverse situation with water in Portugal and in Brazil as well as a strong depreciation of the euro against the dollar,” CEO Antonio Mexia told Reuters.
He also pointed out a small tariff surplus in the regulated part of Portugal’s electricity market in the second quarter for the first time after years of revenue from customer bills failing to cover the cost of providing the service by utilities.
“It confirms our view that the deficit will be flat this year and will start falling in 2016, giving clear signals that the system is becoming sustainable,” Mexia said.
$1 = 0.9162 euros Reporting by Sergio Goncalves and Andrei Khalip