24 Feb 2010

Genesis energy profit lifts to $64m

4:06 pm on 24 February 2010

State-owned power company Genesis Energy has reported a profit of $64.6 million in the six months to December, an increase of 32% on the same period a year earlier.

Sales fell 8% to $961 million due to lower generation volumes and lower wholesale prices as full hydro lakes meant it didn't run its Huntly coal-fired power plant as hard as in previous years.

Intense competition for customers also meant revenue from retail electricity and gas sales remained steady at $682 million.

The company wants to build another 300 megawatts of generation, mainly in wind power.

It says it is on track to exceed the financial performance targets in its Statement of Corporate Intent for the year ending 30 June 2010.

The company will pay its owner, the Government, a dividend of $28.7 million.

Meridian profit also up sharply

New Zealand's biggest electricity generator, Meridian, has recorded a sharp rise in earnings.

The state-owned generator made a net profit after tax for the six months to December of $142.5 million - a big turnaround from a loss of $20.5 million for the same period a year earlier.

Meridian also reports its underlying earnings rose to $118.7 million , up from $84.6 million.

The company says the rise is due largely to improved water flows and storage in South Island hydro lakes.