15 Nov 2022

Infratil reports strong first-half profit

11:43 am on 15 November 2022
Jason Boyes.

Infratil chief executive Jason Boyes Photo: Supplied

Diversified infrastructure investor Infratil has reported a strong first half profit with significant growth in earnings as well as a one-time gain from the sale of Trustpower.

Key numbers for the six months ended September compared with a year ago:

  • Net profit $557.3m - includes $335.5m gain from the sale of Trustpower vs year earlier $1.13b - includes near $1b gain from sale of Tilt Renewables
  • Revenue $951.0m vs $644.4m
  • Underlying profit $275.6 vs $248.4m
  • Interim/final dividend 6.75 cents per share vs 6.5cps

Infratil chief executive Jason Boyes said the company's asset portfolio of $10.17b performed well despite the volatile global macro-economic environment, with the relative protection offered by infrastructure assets and inflation linked pricing.

The company expected to report a full year underlying profit between $510m and $540m for the year ending March.

He said the completion of a capital raise for its Longroad Energy business resulted in a significant uplift in its value, while the sale of Vodafone's passive mobile towers and investment in the new TowerCo business were standout transactions.

"It is pleasing to see the growth in operating revenues, which increased by over $300m compared with the same period in 2021," he said.

He said revenue was boosted by the return of passengers to Wellington Airport and a full period of trading from its diagnostic imaging business RHCNZ Group and increased earnings from CDC Data Centres.

"Wellington Airport saw a strong rebound in domestic traffic with passenger numbers up 24.1 percent from the prior period while international travel is recovering at a slower pace, tempered by airline capacity."

Boyes said Vodafone was well positioned for the next stage of growth, with an increase in top line revenue, as well as the sale of its passive tower assets for $1.7b.

"Following completion of the tower sale, Infratil will have received almost $1b in cash distributions in the just over three years since acquiring Vodafone for $1.03b, while still retaining a 49.9% shareholding in the Vodafone business."

Infratil was still looking to sell its RetireAustralia business, and Boyes said the company would update the market as the sale process continued.

He said Infratil has significant available liquidity to pursue both internal and external investment opportunities, particularly in digital infrastructure and global renewable businesses.

The company invested $471.7m in the past six months, but still had available capacity of more than $1.4b to fund growth, including significant undrawn corporate facilities, and more than $400m cash on hand.

Its debt gearing was 13.9 percent as of 30 September, which was significantly below the target range of 30 percent.

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