Meridian earnings stable but underlying result falls 20pc after sale of hydro stations
Meridian Energy has reported stable earnings for the six months to December 31, though the sale of its Tekapo A and B hydro stations to fellow state-owned generator Genesis Energy saw profit fall 20 per cent to $98.9 million.
The figure excludes typically volatile changes in the fair value of financial instruments, which fell $89.4 million in the half-year, reflecting non-cash impacts of Meridian's contracts with its largest customer, the Rio Tinto aluminium smelter.
While total revenue in the first half rose 11.7 per cent to $1.223 billion, that was the result of higher average wholesale power prices, which also increased Meridian's internal cost of sales.
Energy-related expenses of $559.4 million in the most recent half compared with $394.1 million in the same period a year earlier, as the average price of electricity was 52 per cent higher than in the prior period, at $76.23 per megawatt hour.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation (ebitda) and changes in the value of financial instruments were down 17 per cent at $294.3 million.