UPDATE 2-Portugal EDP 9-month profit falls 8% due to pandemic, one-off costs

(Adds details on capex, debt)

LISBON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Portugal’s largest utility, EDP , reported on Thursday an 8% drop in its 9-month net profit to 422 million euros ($499 million), hit by lower demand in Iberia and Brazil primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of a major coal plant.

“EDP’s net profit dropped ... with electricity prices and demand falling significantly despite some recovery in the third quarter,” EDP said in a statement, without providing quarterly figures.

It said the pandemic had a negative impact of 54 million euros on net income. The company also booked 247 million euros of non-recurring costs, including those related to the closure its coal plant in Sines.

The company, whose main shareholder is China Three Gorges, said its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dipped 2% to 2.63 billion euros between January and September from a year ago.

Excluding exchange rates effects, particularly from Brazil where EDP owns a major utility, recurring EBITDA grew 3%, EDP said.

Net debt fell 6% to 13 billion euros from a year ago, while capital expenditure rose 37% to 1.8 billion euros in the nine months of the year, 95% of which in renewable energy and grid businesses.

Earlier on Thursday, EDP’s wind energy unit EDP Renewables , reported a 7% fall in net profit to 319 million euros.

EDP said it has total cash and available liquidity facilities worth 7.7 billion euros covering its refinancing at least until 2023.

$1 = 0.8461 euros By Sergio Goncalves, Editing by Victoria Waldersee, Andrei Khalip and David Gregorio