20 Aug 2010

Fall in underlying earnings at Contact

10:04 am on 20 August 2010

Wet weather and intense competition has caused a drop in Contact Energy's underlying earnings.

The electricity generator and retailer made $154.6 million in the year to the end of June, up more than a third on the previous year.

But once tax charges and one-off items are stripped out, underlying earnings fell almost 6% to $150 million.

The country's second largest listed company says another wet year hindered its performance, because despite more hydro generation, it had to pay for unused gas in its gas fired station.

Managing director David Baldwin says the company has managed to maintain customer numbers during the year, despite intense competition.

Contact will pay a dividend of 14 cents per share, compared with 17 cents last year.