27 Feb 2018

Wet weather drives Mercury's first half profit up 17 percent

12:42 pm on 27 February 2018

A wet lead up to Christmas has proved to be a boon for power company Mercury.

Its half year profit for the six months ended December was $132 million, up 17 percent on the year before, as its North Island hydro stations generated more power at the best price in more than a decade.

The company also added a thousand more customers for a total of 393,000, with 150,000 enrolled in its loyalty programme.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $958m, as wet weather around the central North Island, helped generate a more higher priced power.

Chief executive Fraser Whineray said electricity demand had been higher across all sectors except the industrial sector.

"Drier weather conditions in many areas of the country contributed to increased demand from both dairy processing and irrigation relative to the prior period," he said.

"This demand growth is supported by population growth in key regions offsetting per-household consumption decreases."

Mercury restated its full year forecast operating earnings of $530m.