Renta 4 | Faced by the changing market conditions directly affecting the profitability of coal-fired power stations in Spain, Endesa´s board has decided to accelerate end of their production without expecting any impact on operating profits.
Spanish regulator (CNMC) is preparing new regulations which will lead to a greater than expected cuts in the returns for natural gas transportation and distribution networks and also, possibly, for electricity distribution networks.
The electricity distribution network in Portugal is going to be re-auctioned within an ambitous programme of liberalisation launched by the Government. The Portuguese electricity market, with more than 6 million connections, is a quarter that of Spain. Endesa looks to take advantage as it has 18% of the energy supply market in the country.
The three big electricity companies with operations in Spain, namely Iberdrola, Gas Natural Fenosa and Endesa, earned 5.627 billion euros in 2017, up 3% from a year earlier.
Cepsa wants to open up a gap for itself in the sector for commercialisation of residential electricity and gas, with the aim of grabbing a 1o% share over the coming years. It will thus become one of the four main operators along with Endesa, Iberdrola or Gas Natural Fenosa.
An average user’s electricity bill rose 10.8% in 2017 from a year earlier, according to Facua-Consumidores en Acción (Consumers in Action). Whatsmore, Facua denounces the “brutal” 16% increase in tariffs for energy consumed.
In 2016, the electricity system registered a surplus of 421,45 million euros, according to the final figure for the year released by The National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC in Spanish).
While the telecoms sector (mainly represented by Telefónica) is very attractive for investors, “looming pressure on returns” is clouding investor interest in the utilities.
Enel is Spanish Endesa’s main shareholder with a 70% stake. Spain’s Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda minister, Álvaro Nadal, has accused Enel of “playing politics for the Italians to the detriment of Spanish consumers and workers.”
Spain’s three biggest utility companies, Iberdrola, Endesa and Gas Natural, earned 30% less in 2015, recording a combined profit of € 5.0009,6 billion in 2015, 29.6% less than a year earlier.