30 Sep 2009

Meridian to enter retail bond market

5:59 am on 30 September 2009

The state owned power company has $469 million of debt maturing in 2010 and is starting to fill the gap with new banking facilities.

Meridian plans to reopen its renewable energy notes programme after annual report is tabled in Parliament in October, and is likely to enter the market in first three months of next year with its first ever retail bond issue.

On Tuesday the company announced its annual profit had fallen by a third.

The company's net profit after tax was down from $128.6 million in 2008 to $89.3 million in the year to June.

Its underlying profit rose from $104.5 million last year to $195 million this year.

Meridian chief executive Tim Lusk says the outcome is satisfactory, given the year's extraordinary challenges and extreme operational volatility.

Mr Lusk says storage in hydro lakes began the year at record low levels and the company has had to manage a series of large inflows with transmission constraints across the Cook Strait.

Meridian will pay the Government a dividend of $143.9 million for the year, as well as a special dividend of $150 million.