Meridian profits hit hard - down 52pc

The Benmore Dam in the Waitaki Valley, one of Meridian Energy's power stations. The SOE's hydro generation was down 22pc in the past year. Photo / Simon Baker.
The Benmore Dam in the Waitaki Valley, one of Meridian Energy's power stations. The SOE's hydro generation was down 22pc in the past year. Photo / Simon Baker.

Low rainfall, the sale of some of its assets to Genesis Energy and a one-off dispute settlement in the previous year saw Meridian Energy's net profit fall 52 per cent to $106.1 million in the year ended June 30.

The result, which excludes unbooked movements in the fair value of financial instruments, largely reflects the lowest rainfall in Meridian's South Island hydro catchments in 79 years of record-keeping, and the loss of output from the Tekapo A and B hydro stations.

The Tekapo units were sold towards the end of the previous financial year to fellow state-owned rival generator Genesis Energy as part of electricity reforms.

The impact of low hydro inflows is best illustrated by the fact that the result was achieved on a 25 per cent increase in total revenue to $2.57 billion, despite the reduced asset base. Hydro generation was down 22 per cent to 9.79 Gigawatt hours for the year, while wind generation rose 17 per cent to 1.38GWh.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and changes in the fair value of financial instruments were down 28 per cent to 476.6 million, from $659.9 million, largely because the average price of electricity generated rose by 138 per cent to $98.79 per MWh in the year just passed from $41.57 per MWh the previous year.

EBITDAF per MWh generated was down 11 per cent to $42.62.

Adjusting for the Tekapo generation revenue and the $28.1 million settlement of a dispute with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, NPAT was down 28 per cent on the previous year, the company said in a statement released to the NZX ahead of a media briefing.

- BusinessDesk

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