Italian fuel business Eni has announced plans to sell or list a minority stake in its new retail and renewable energy business as it reported a jump in profits in the first quarter.
In a statement, Eni said it was planning to list or sell a minority stake in the business that includes renewable energy and retail energy sales next year, confirming a Reuters report from March.
Several European energy companies, including Spain’s Repsol , aim to spin off parts of their renewables business to raise money to reduce debt and pay for the shift away from oil and gas.
In the first quarter Eni, which operates as Agip in some markets, including Germany, said its adjusted net profit jumped almost five times to €270 million as firmer oil prices offset lower production. That was below an analyst consensus provided by the company of about €440 million.
The group, which confirmed its full-year production target of about 1.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, said it would be investing around €6 billion this year.
“The first quarter of 2021 has been significantly impacted by ongoing national lockdowns, however despite this Eni has achieved significantly improved results, most notably driven by E&P and the chemicals business," commented Eni CEO Claudio Descalz.
"Meanwhile, our retail G&P business continued to grow steadily, with year-on-year EBIT increasing by 19% as we leverage our unique and expanding customer base in the power segment and benefit from a greater contribution from extra-commodity services."
Europe's big energy companies profited from higher oil prices to report big increases in earnings, putting the worst of the pandemic-driven slump behind them.