19 May 2015

Infratil almost doubles annual profit

1:51 pm on 19 May 2015

Wellington based, Infratil, has almost doubled its annual profit, boosted by the sale of its Australian energy business.

Water pipelines that are part of the infrastructure of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme.

Infratil sold its Australian energy businesses for $A605 million to Snowy Hydro, the operator of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme (pictured are water pipes that are part of its infrastructure) last year. Photo: AFP / SNOWY HYDRO LTD

The infrastructure and investment company made $384 million in the year to March, compared with $199 million in the previous year.

That is due to Infratil selling its Lumo and Direct Connect Australia businesses for a gain of $338 million.

Gross earnings rose 4 percent to $453 million, with a higher contribution from Trustpower, offsetting lower earnings from Wellington Airport, New Zealand Bus and its reduced stake in Z Energy.

Infratil is shifting into new growth areas, and its chief executive, Marko Bogioevsky, said buying a half share of RetireAustralia for $204 million Australian late last year was one such opportunity.

Looking ahead, the company expects operating earnings to rise between 7 and 14 percent to $520 and $550 million, with greater earnings from Trustpower and RetireAustralia.

Investors will get a dividend of 8 cents a share, taking the total annual payout to 12.5 cents.

Asset sales have also resulted in an extra payout of $120 million, with special dividends of 6.4 cents a share to be paid in June, on top of last December's 15 cents.

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