Gas Natural posts 404 mln euro Q1 net profit, meets f'casts

miércoles 6 de mayo de 2015 02:53 GYT

MADRID May 6 (Reuters) - Spain's Gas Natural posted a flat first quarter net profit and a 12 percent rise in core earnings on Wednesday, with EBITDA boosted by the purchase of Chile's Compania General de Electricidad (CGE) last year.

Net profit rose 0.5 percent to 404 million euros ($454.66 million) in the middle of a range of analysts' forecasts in a Reuters poll. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 1.37 billion euros versus a poll forecast for 1.35 billion euros.

Gas Natural, which makes around half of its core earnings abroad, purchased Chile's CGE (CGE) for 2.55 billion euros in November last year, pushing up its ratio of net financial debt to EBIDTA to 3.2 times from 3.0 times. The company said it was working on a new strategic plan to imclude the impact of its new assets.

Spanish utilities' profits have been under pressure from new regulatory measures.

($1 = 0.8886 euros) (Reporting By Jose Elias Rodrigue and Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Paul Day)