Meridian Energy beats prospectus forecast

  • 17/08/2014

Meridian Energy has posted a 22 percent decline in full-year profit in a market where retail electricity demand was flat and wholesale prices fell.

Profit was $229.8 million in the 12 months ended June 30, down from $295 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement.

Operating revenue dropped to $2.51 billion from $2.7 billion.

Earnings beat the state-controlled utility's prospectus forecasts, showing a decline from 2013 that partly reflected a one-time gain in the year-earlier period from the sale of the Macarthur wind farm and accounting adjustments.

Energy sales revenue fell 7.5 percent to $2.48b in the latest year, while energy related expenses fell 17 percent to $1.13b.

Distribution expenses rose 5.8 percent to $428m and transmission expenses climbed 12 percent to $129m.

"Last year's result included earnings for six months under the then unvaried and higher priced Tiwai Point contract and five months operating earnings from the company's interest in the Macarthur wind farm in Australia, which has since been sold," said chief executive Mark Binns.

The government sold instalment receipts to reduce its holding in Meridian at $1 apiece last year. They last traded at $1.285, up 19 percent since listing, and are rated a 'buy' based on seven recommendations compiled by Reuters.

Investors must make the second 50 cent payment on the receipts in May 2015 after an initial public offering that will raise $1.88b in total.

In presentation slides the company said aggregate retail electricity demand "remains relatively flat" while manufacturing demand "remains subdued".

Meridian's New Zealand customers rose 1.7 percent in the latest year and the volume of retail sales climbed 1.6 percent.

The company lifted generation by 8.9 percent including an 8 percent gain in wind generation, giving it a 35.3 percent average market share of generation.

Meridian said it is investigating the sale of its Arc metering business.

The company will pay a final dividend of 6.82 cents a share plus a special dividend of 2 cents, bringing total payments for the year to 13.01 cents.

NZN

source: newshub archive


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