1 Nov 2012

TrustPower six month profit rises 1.6%

9:51 am on 1 November 2012

TrustPower's profit has risen off the back of firmer wholesale prices.

The Tauranga-based listed firm made $69.8 million for the six months to the end of September, an increase of 1.6% compared with the same period last year.

Stripping out one-off adjustments and fair movement values, profit was up 0.8% to $76.2 million.

Earnings were up by 2.8% to $166.1 million, which TrustPower chief executive Vince Hawkesworth says was largely driven by firm wholesale prices in the first quarter.

Mr Hawkesworth says the company made money selling forward contracts on the ASX when electricity prices were firm.

However, customer numbers fell and power usage fell.

Mr Hawksworth says demand across the country is softer, while winter weather conditions did not result in increased power usage.

He says prices are lower on the wholesale market, and all the lakes now have good storage.

But Mr Hawkesworth says TrustPower's focus in the next six months in New Zealand will involve increasing its sales effort to gain more commercial and retail customers.

He says in Australia TrustPower wants to move swiftly through the second stage of the construction of the Snowtown windfarm.

Shares in the company rose 8 cents to $8.54 each on Wednesday.