12 May 2014

Trustpower counts on Australian boost

5:58 am on 12 May 2014

Trustpower is continuing to pay more in dividends than its per-share earnings.

That's because it expects future results to be boosted once its $A440 million Snowtown Stage 2 Wind Farm in South Australia has been completed.

On Friday, the electricity generator and retailer said the project is well advanced and tracking to plan.

The company reported a 7 percent fall in annual net profit to just over $115 million, reflecting lower generation in New Zealand and a challenging retail environment.

Pipelines to Trustpower power station at Coleridge in Canterbury.

Pipelines to Trustpower power station at Coleridge in Canterbury. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Trustpower will pay a final dividend of 20 cents per share, taking the annual payout to 40 cents, unchanged from last year.

However, per-share earnings in the 12 months ended March were 36.7 cents, down from 39.2 cents the previous year.

Chief executive Vince Hawksworth said the Snowtown project was very important to Trustpower's future earnings.

He said it was a $A440 million investment which was going to budget and plan and was already producing cash.

Mr Hawksworth said he expected Trustpower's New Zealand earnings to grow as well.

He said that was as a result of customers taking up the firm's multi-product offering with a degree of enthusiasm for service bundles such as gas, electricity and telecommunications.

Mr Hawksworth said offering those three services was unique in the New Zealand market.