Enel steps up green drive as earnings meet expectations

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen at the Milan's headquarter, Italy, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's biggest utility Enel ENEI.MI stuck to its targets for the year, after core earnings in the first nine months met expectations, stepping up plans to cut its carbon footprint.

Ordinary core income in the period dipped 0.9% to 13.1 billion euros ($15.5 billion) as growth in its renewable energy and European networks businesses nearly offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and currency effects in Latin America.

Enel, one of the world’s biggest green energy players, said it had commissioned 900 megawatts of new renewable capacity in the third quarter and had installed 4,100 MW of new renewable capacity in the last 12 months.

Energy production from coal fell 71% in the first nine months as its emission-free production rose to 65%.

Enel, which controls Spanish utility Endesa ELE.MC, has committed to spend almost 29 billion euros to 2022 with a focus on boosting clean energy and phasing out coal-fired capacity and generation.

Last month it lifted its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target to 80% from 70%.

Enel, which expects ordinary core earnings this year of about 18 billion euros, said it would pay an interim dividend of 0.175 euros per share, 9.4% higher than last year’s interim.

($1 = 0.8466 euros)

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Jonathan Oatis