2 MIN. DE LECTURA
(Updates with comments by CEO)
LISBON, July 28 (Reuters) - EDP-Energias de Portugal posted on Thursday a 20 percent fall in first-half net profit, largely in line with market expectations, due to one-off gains a year ago and a foreign exchange impact in Brazil, while its revenues from electricity sales rose.
Portugal's largest company netted 472 million euros ($523.64 million) in the period. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected, on average, a profit of 467 million euros.
CEO Antonio Mexia said the results were strong despite the decline in net profit as recurring profit reached 517 million euros, 20 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier.
Gross revenues rose 8 percent to nearly 3 billion euros, helped by a 5 percent increase in capacity - most of it at EDP's wind energy unit EDPR in the United States and Brazil.
Operating costs were stable at 759 million euros, EDP said.
"The operational performance was strong in all regions and the first half leads us to be very comfortable with the guidance we have given the market, including in the financial part and in reducing debt," Mexia told Reuters.
The company has said it expects full-year net profit in 2016 of 900 million euros.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) slipped 3 percent to 2.07 billion euros, slightly exceeding the average forecast of 2.03 billion euros.
EDP said that without one-offs, such as the acquisition at a discount of a stake in Brazil's Pecem I plant last year and the sale of Spanish gas assets, its EBITDA would have risen 15 percent and net profit would have been 20 percent higher than a year ago.
The depreciation of the Brazilian real against the euro had an impact of 78 million euros on EBITDA this year.
Net debt at the utility fell 5 percent to just below 16.5 billion euros. EDP's net financial position comprised by cash flow and available loans totalled 5.6 billion euros, which the company said covered its financing needs until after 2018.
$1 = 0.9014 euros Reporting By Andrei Khalip and Sergio Goncalves, editing by Axel Bugge and Alexandra Hudson