February 26, 2020 / 8:39 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Iberdrola targets profit growth in 2020 after meeting 2019 target

(Adds detail, background)

MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Leading global wind power producer Iberdrola on Wednesday posted a 13% net profit increase in 2019, meeting its broad growth target and said it aimed to keep investing in renewables and networks to post high single-digit growth in 2020.

Buoyed by ambitious international targets to switch to green energy and increasing investor interest in environmental, social and corporate governance, renewables-focused utilities such as Iberdrola have become stock-market favourites.

Powering more than 30 million homes and businesses in Spain, the United States, Brazil and Britain brought Iberdrola a net profit of 3.41 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in the period.

Based in northern Spain, the company, which owns Avangrid in the United States and Scottish Power in Britain, had forecast its net profit would rise at a double-digit rate in 2019.

Iberdrola’s shares have risen around 20% so far this year and were up 0.5% on Wednesday morning.

Accelerating its own drive to invest in renewables to 10 billion euros in 2020 should keep net profit growing at a “high single digit” rate during the year and in the years to come, the company said.

The company said it would propose a complementary dividend of 0.232 euros per share, bringing total shareholder remuneration to 0.40 euros per share.

Chief Executive Ignacio Galan said last year the company was set to beat a goal to add 13 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2022, enough to power around 13 million U.S. homes on average.

Net debt rose 10.6% for the full year, to 37.8 billion euros. This was partly due to new accounting standards, and partly due to the large investments undertaken during the year.

$1 = 0.9201 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Inti Landauro and David Evans

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