The strong price pressure in the gas market has taken its toll on the country’s main gas producer contrary to expectations. Naturgy earned 347 million euros in the first three months of the year, according to information communicated this Thursday to the market, which represents a decrease in profit of 9.4% compared to the previous year.

The negative comparison is explained by the impact of extraordinary profits, such as the sale of its assets in Egypt in that period of 2021, which distorts the comparison. Discounting these extraordinary items, profit would have stood at 354 million euros, 9% more.

Invoicing reached 8,141 million euros in the first three months of 2021, 73.7% more, and the gross operating margin grew by 9.4%. The same percentage that grew the gross operating profit, which stood at 1,074 million.

As for debt, it reached 13,062 million euros at the end of March, 1.8% higher than the end of 2021.

In the information sent to the CNMV, the company recognized an unequal impact of the macroeconomic, energy and weather situation in the different markets. “The period has been marked by the recovery of international activities, while the operation in Spain continued to experience pressure on sales margins, partly affected by contracts that do not reflect the global increase in gas and electricity prices”, assured.

The company explained that it has sold all its inframarginal power generation capacity to end customers in the long term below the price set by the Government of 67 euros per MWh and has had to go to buy electricity from the pool due to low hydraulic production. “On the other hand, generation activity and renewables were affected by exogenous factors and regulatory adjustments,” he pointed out. Explanations that in no case convinced the market, where the consensus of analysts expected a better performance and punished the value with a drop in the stock market of 6.76%.

On the other hand, Naturgy announced the launch of the Industrial Gas Commitment, an initiative with which it offers its industrial gas customers a stable price, as it did in September with its electricity customers. The industry will be able to benefit from a fixed price of 55 euros per megawatt hour until the end of 2025, below the current prices of the European gas markets.