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Iberdrola 2010 profits in line

Source: Reuters - Thu 24th Feb 2011

Spain's largest utility Iberdrola lifted core earnings by more than 10% in 2010 from a year earlier to 7.53 billion euros, in line with analysts' expectations and driven by strong performance in Spain. Results were also driven by strength at Iberdrola's operations in North and South America, with dollar appreciation also boosting earnings in the region. Cheap generation costs thanks to a good overall hydro-electric year combined with a recovery in power distribution fuelled growth at Iberdrola's core Spanish business.

Iberdrola's Scottish Power UK unit disappointed with a fall in operating profit due to poor performance in distribution. A Reuters poll of nine analysts had expected core earnings increasing to 7.518 billion euros from 6.815 billion a year earlier, with flat growth in net profit. Net profit grew a modest 1.6% to 2.87 billion euros, due to lower one time gains posted from a year earlier.

Iberdrola will host a conference call for analysts at 0830 GMT, where focus will be on any updates on the power firm's future strategy, earnings forecasts, and on management's plan to continue to keep Spanish builder ACS at bay.

ACS has 20% of Iberdrola and wants a seat on the board of the company. Analysts said, however, that Iberdrola management is likely to divulge more on strategy and its stance towards ACS during its March 2 Investor Day.

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