Ence – Energía y Celulosa achieved a net profit of € 25 million during the first half of the year (-50%) and an EBITDA of € 92 million, 31% lower. The EBITDA of the Pulp business was € 66 million (- 42%), while the Renewable Energy increased up to € 26 million, 30% higher than the same period of 2018.
Results have been affected by the current situation of the pulp market, marked by the contraction in demand due to the reduction of inventories in the paper industry, which have pushed down the price of pulp.
The expansion project with a new production line in Navia of 340,000 tons advances in engineering and in obtaining the necessary permits for its construction, after the freezing of investments planned in Pontevedra due to the change in criteria on the term of the concession of the Coasts Authorities.
Currently the company is focused on a program of cost reduction and optimization of the operating result, launched this July to ensure compliance with the objectives of the Strategic Plan to 2023.
On the other hand, the EBITDA of the Energy business was driven by the incorporation of the Puertollano solar thermal power plant. With the entry into operation of the two new biomass plants in Huelva and Puertollano before the end of the year, the EBITDA of this business will increase by nearly € 30 million annually to € 100 million / year.
Investments in growth and sustainability were € 157 million. The Net Debt to EBITDA ratio of the group stands at 1.8 times at the end of the semester, with a leverage of 1.2 times in the Pulp business and 3.9 times in the Renewable Energy business.
The company will pay a first interim dividend in September, of 5.1 cents per share, fulfilling its policy of distributing 50% of the net profit.