25 Feb 2013

Half year profit jump for Meridian Energy

12:00 pm on 25 February 2013

Meridian Energy has made a strong recovery from the previous record dry year with a jump in its half year profit to $173 million to the end of December.

The result, an increase from $164 million for the same period the previous year, was achieved despite sharp rises in transmission costs and 27 days of high voltage outages associated with Transpower's inter-island upgrade.

When one-off items are stripped out, underlying profit fell by 11% to $88 million.

Earnings fell 6% to $277 million, but surged by more than half compared with the first half of 2012.

Despite flat demand, chief executive Mark Binns said Meridian has benefitted from higher inflows into its South Island catchments and efficiencies in its retail business.

He said the company is on track for a higher full year profit and will pay a dividend of nearly $100 million to the Government.