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Spanish group Naturgy almost doubles its profits in the first quarter

The Spanish energy group Naturgy announced this Wednesday an increase in its net result in the first quarter of 92.5% year-on-year, thanks to the sale of its stake in the Egyptian Damietta plant, the subject of a dispute with Cairo since 2012 .

Net profit reached 383 million euros (462 million dollars), above the 303 million euros (365 million dollars) estimated on average by financial analysts consulted by Factset.

The result was “mainly supported” by a first payment of 65 million euros (78 million dollars) received under the arrangement with Egypt, Naturgy explained in its statement.

In total, the group will receive “approximately 600 million dollars,” the company said.

Naturgy finalized in March an amicable agreement with the Egyptian government and with the Italian energy group ENI, to resolve the dispute over the Damietta gas plant, near the Suez Canal, whose operation was paralyzed in 2012 by the Egyptian government, in full swing. political crisis in the middle of the “Arab Spring”.

After years of negotiation, the agreement provides for the sale of Naturgy’s stake in the ENI plant, for 600 million dollars.

Excluding this extraordinary element, the covid-19 pandemic “has continued to negatively affect the operational behavior” of the company, due to macroeconomic uncertainty and a “significant depreciation of currencies” in Latin America, where Naturgy has a large presence.

At the end of January, the Australian fund IFM Investors announced a public acquisition offer (OPA) for 22.69% of the capital of Naturgy for a maximum amount of 5,060 million euros (about 6,140 million dollars), which is expected by the Spanish government approval.

emi / du / d

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