RPT-UPDATE 1-Iberdrola bets on foreign grids for recovery after tough 2014

Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:17am EST
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* To invest 9.6 billion euros in 2014-2016 in new strategy

* EBITDA, net profit to grow annual 4 percent after 2014

* Expects minimum gross dividend of 0.27 euros/share

* Shares down 0.28 percent

By Tracy Rucinski and Andrés González

MADRID, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Spanish power firm Iberdrola said it would spend the bulk of 9.6 billion euros ($13.2 billion) in investments over the next three years on regulated power grids and renewable assets abroad, driving an earnings recovery after 2014.

Iberdrola, a world leader in wind power, posted a 6.8 percent decline in underlying profit in 2013, hit by fresh regulatory changes in Spain during the year which it said wiped 801 million euros from pretax earnings.

Utilities in Spain have suffered from a series of government reforms - including a power generation tax, caps on profits and subsidy cuts - aimed at closing a multi-billion-euro electricity tariff deficit that has built up during years of selling power at regulated prices that did not cover system costs.   Continued...