ScottishPower owner Iberdrola’s annual results show that strong levels of investment in digitalisation, renewables and networks is helping to see it through COVID-19 challenges.

The Spanish utilities giant lauded its strong performance in renewable energy and digitalisation, which has helped mitigate many of the early challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in digitalisation, for example, has allowed 95% of the company’s office staff to work remotely.

As such, Iberdrola has seen a 5.3% increase in net profit to €968 million in Q1 2020. Its financial health has allowed it to continue to grow its renewables capacity, having commissioned around 5.5GW of renewable capacity in the last year, including 1.2GW in Q1 2020.

In the UK, it now has an installed capacity of 2,730MW, along with a number of onshore wind, offshore wind and battery storage projects currently under construction.

This helped the company’s UK renewable EBITDA to grow by £48.2 million – or 29% – in Q1 2020 compared to the previous year. This was due to a 12.9% increase in onshore wind and a 203.4% increase in offshore wind, thanks to the East Anglia 1 farm coming online.

While the company’s renewable portfolio has continued to see strong growth however, its consumers have continued to fall, with 5,225GWh of electricity supplied to customers in Q1 2020, down 10.9% from the same period in 2019.

The companies revenue from networks in the UK grew for both transmission and distribution thanks to a growing asset base due to investments. This put its UK EBITDA in the area at £238.6 million, an increase of £21.0 million, or 10.1% on the same period in Q1 2019.

This follows on from the company’s 2019 full year results, when it saw a 13% increase in net profit due to strong renewables and network performance.

Throughout the whole of Iberdrola, this networks and renewables strength has helped to “largely cushion” the effects of the pandemic. Therefore despite the challenges, it is still looking to hire 5,000 new members of staff in 2020 and has increased investments in suppliers by 24% in the last quarter to €1.73 billion.

Iberdrola’s group chairman, Ignacio Galán, said: “There is complete consensus that the road to economic recovery must be green, with the fight against climate change at its core. The European Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plans across the EU already provide a clear pathway. Iberdrola is fully prepared to help deliver these targets.”

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