Multi-utilities firm ENGIE SA reported a year-over-year increase in first-quarter EBITDA and revenues, which were boosted by strong growth in renewable power generation in France and Belgium, and higher French retail gas and electricity sales.
The company's EBITDA rose 3% to €3.16 billion in the quarter that ended March 31 from €3.07 billion a year ago, and comparable EBITDA climbed 6% to €3.12 billion from €2.94 billion.
First-quarter revenues went up 1.2% year on year to €17.52 billion from €17.32 billion, and operating income increased 3.1% to €2.16 billion from €2.09 billion.
Engie said the commissioning of assets in Latin America also helped revenue growth, and midstream gas activities in the favorable European market environment also drove the increase in EBITDA.
The Benelux segment's EBITDA was "stable" during the quarter, Engie said, due to gas and electricity sales activities and renewable power generation in Belgium. In France, higher wind and hydro power generation and improved heat sales contributed to the increase in EBITDA.
Excluding those segments, the European division's EBITDA fell in the quarter due to lower distributed volumes and a decline in distribution regulated rates in Romania since April 2017. The disposal of distribution activities in Hungary in January and foreign exchange swings also hurt earnings.
The weakness of the Brazilian real and the dollar against the euro had a negative impact on Engie's latest results, the company said.
Engie confirmed its full-year guidance, including a projected net recurring income group share of between €2.45 billion and €2.65 billion, and EBITDA of €9.3 billion to €9.7 billion. The cash dividend for 2018 was forecast at 75 euro cents per share.