13 Aug 2012

Meridian's profits dampened by low rainfall

5:44 pm on 13 August 2012

Meridian Energy's full-year profit has fallen by three-quarters following the lowest rainfall levels at its South Island hydro lakes in 79 years.

The electricity generator and retailer's profit fell 75% to $74.6 million to the end of June.

Excluding the sale of the Tekapo hydro stations to Genesis Energy last year, and other one-off items, the publicly owned company's underlying profit fell 52% to $106 million this year.

That was due to lower inflows in the South Island hydro lakes, and the need to hedge contracts to guarantee supply to customers.

Gross earnings fell 28% to $477 million.

Chief executive Mark Binns says the hydro levels have improved and Meridian's retail arm is back into full marketing to gain back customers.