REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais today presented the annual financial results for 2015, recording 3% year-on-year growth of the company's net income to EUR 116.1 million.
This improvement was mainly due to three factors: the improvement of financial income, which increased EUR 14.9 million, the sale of the stake in Enagás for EUR 16.1 million and a tax credit of EUR 9.9 million. The negative factors were the lower remuneration of assets and the extraordinary levy on the energy sector (CESE tax).
EBITDA stood at EUR 489.7 million, a fall of 3.1% compared to 2014, which is explained by the downward trend of sovereign interest rates in the pegging mechanism for the rate of return on assets.
In 2015, CAPEX and transfers to RAB increased to EUR 240.4 million (+EUR 77.1 million) and EUR 231.6 million (EUR 37.5 million) respectively, resulting from the acquisition of two underground natural gas storage caverns, formerly owned by Galp Energia and which were already regulated assets. This also had an impact on the average RAB, which increased EUR 56.5 million to EUR 3,585.8 million. REN, following this acquisition, became the owner of all the underground natural gas storage infrastructures currently existing in Portugal.
It should also be noted that in November REN signed a long-term financing agreement of EUR 80 million with the European Investment Bank (EIB). This is the first tranche of total financing of EUR 200 million, which is intended to finance energy transport network extension and improvement projects.
Also in 2015, the Standard & Poor's rating agency raised REN's rating to investment grade. This gave an investment grade rating to REN in the three major agencies and made it the Portuguese company with the best risk profile. These changes reflect the sound financial strategy that has given the company more competitive refinancing conditions from its creditors.
The year was also noted for a decrease in the average cost of debt, which resulted in improved financial income and contributed to the growth in net income, compared with the previous year.
At the operational level, in addition to REN becoming the owner of all the natural gas storage infrastructures in operation in Portugal, the high levels of service quality are also to be highlighted, both in electricity and natural gas, with 0.00 minutes of equivalent interruption time (EIT).
The European Commission classified as Common Interest Projects (CIP) the 400 kV connection of the National Transmission Grid between Minho and Galicia and the 3rd natural gas interconnection between Spain and Portugal. This recognises the strategic importance of these projects for the construction of the internal energy market and Europe's supply security strategy.