Italy's Edison returned to profit in 2012

MILAN Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:39pm EST

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MILAN Feb 8 (Reuters) - Italian utility Edison returned to profit in 2012, as lower prices it paid for gas supplies helped offset declining revenues from the sale of electric power and natural gas.

The group said on Friday its revenue rose 5.6 percent to 12.0 billion euros ($16.1 billion) for the year, and it would pay a dividend of 0.15 euros per savings share, including 0.10 euros for 2010 and 2011.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 23.9 percent to 1.1 billion euros, while net profit was 81 million euros, against a loss of 871 million euros in 2011.

The company added, however, that its outlook "remains negative, particularly in the natural gas sector."

Utilities have been struggling with a drop in demand for power and gas in Europe amid protracted economic weakness.

Edison said electricity demand fell 2.8 percent last year and natural gas demand dropped 4.1 percent.

($1 = 0.7474 euros) (Reporting by Jennifer Clark; Editing by Mark Potter)

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