July 24, 2019 / 6:49 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Spain's Iberdrola boosts profit forecast as H1 earnings rise

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MADRID, July 24 (Reuters) - Spanish renewable energy giant Iberdrola raised its 2019 net profit forecast on Wednesday as growth in international markets boosted first-half earnings by double digits.

Spain’s biggest utility has issued a string of outlook improvements.

Earlier this year it decided to speed up an investment programme under which it plans to spend 34 billion euros ($38 billion), mainly on its networks and renewables businesses, by 2022.

First-half core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 12.5% to 4.99 billion euros as growth in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Germany offset lower returns in Spain and Britain.

The supplier of energy to more than 30 million people globally raised its net profit forecast for 2019 from a high single-digit increase to a double-digit rise.

In the first half of the year, net profit climbed 16.6% to 1.64 billion euros.

Earnings rolled in from Iberdrola’s new Wikinger wind farm in Germany, helping balance out lower income from its networks and renewables businesses in Spain and commercial operations in Britain.

Dry weather in Spain cut hydroelectric generation by 45.1% versus a year earlier.

$1 = 0.8969 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Paul Day

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