Acciona Reports Surprise $2.7 Billion Loss on Clean-Energy Cuts

Acciona SA, one of the largest owners of renewable-power plants, reported a surprise 1.97 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) annual loss, equating to more than half its market value, after Spain cut prices for clean energy.

The Spanish builder of power, water and transportation projects in more than 30 countries said regulatory changes in its home market, including some with retroactive effects, led to a 257 million-euro reduction in income in 2013. They also triggered 1.68 billion euros in write-offs and impairment charges on assets such as wind farms, the company said today.

The surprise charges caused the first loss since at least 1988 for a company that helped make Spain a global leader in solar-thermal and wind-energy plants, which were fostered by consumer-funded subsidies that were later slashed. Analysts had expected annual net income of 48.8 million euros, according to the average of eight estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Acciona slumped as much as 5.6 percent in Madrid trading, the biggest intraday decline in three weeks, and was down 1.3 percent at 55.50 euros as of 9:47 a.m. local time. The shares fell more than 8 percent in one day in July when Spain enacted one of the biggest of a series of cutbacks for renewable assets.

Sales dropped 5.8 percent to 6.61 billion euros in 2013, Acciona said in a statement. Earnings also were hurt by the depreciation of some real estate and other businesses, and provisions made against possible losses in “a small number of contracts” for its infrastructure division, the company said.

Acciona and many European power generators have also been weakened by slower demand growth. Acciona has shifted some of its focus toward renewable-energy project development and away from capital-intensive investment, ownership and operation.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.