Enel Profit Falls on Shrinking Power Demand in Home Markets

Enel SpA, Italy’s largest utility, said third-quarter profit fell 31 percent on weak electricity demand in Italy and Spain.

Net income declined to 655 million euros ($876 million) from 949 million euros a year earlier, the Rome-based company said today in a statement. That beat the 604 million-euro average estimate of eight analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue dropped 10 percent to 19 billion euros.

Asset sales, cost cuts and hybrid bond sales undertaken this year “significantly accelerated the strengthening of the group’s financial position” allowing Enel to confirm its 2013 earnings targets, Chief Executive Officer Fulvio Conti said today in the statement. He also said the company may be able to improve on its 42 billion euro net debt target for this year.

Enel is struggling against weak electricity demand in its home markets with Italy entering its third year of economic contraction and Spain just beginning to recover from a recession. Electricity sold to end users in the first nine months of the year was 221.5 terawatt hours, down 7.2 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Earnings targets for 2013 announced in March include earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about 16 billion euros and net income of 3 billion euros.

Enel sells electricity to 61 million clients in 40 countries, according to its website.

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