Mercury lifts 2017 earnings forecast by $5m on favourable water levels in Waikato catchment

By Jonathan Underhill

Mercury's Karapiro Hydro Station. Photo / File
Mercury's Karapiro Hydro Station. Photo / File

Mercury NZ, the electricity generator and distributor formerly known as MightyRiverPower, raised its 2017 earnings guidance to reflect additional hydro generation expected from dams in the Waikato catchment.

The Auckland-based generator, which holds its annual meeting this morning, raised its forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair-value adjustments by $5 million to $495 million.

It earned $493 million on that basis in the year ended June 30.

"Mercury has enjoyed favourable hydrological conditions in the Waikato catchment through the first three months of this financial year," it said.

"Consequently, in its quarterly operational update for the quarter ended 30 September, the company increased its FY2017 mid-point hydro generation forecast by 100GWh to 4,250GWh."

Its guidance for 2017 ordinary dividends was kept at 14.6 cents per share, up 2 per cent on last year.

Mercury shares last traded at $3.01 and have gained 8.9 per cent this year, lagging behind a 14.5 per cent increase in the NZX 50 Index.

- BusinessDesk

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