Contact Energy Underlying Profit Down After Dry Winter

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

New Zealand-based Contact Energy (CEN.NZ) said Monday that its underlying profit was down after a dry winter in New Zealand's south island caused less energy to be generated with water.

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The company said its underlying profit for the year to 30 June was 141 million New Zealand dollars (US$103 million), down 10% from the prior period, but that its statutory profit of NZ$150 million was up NZ$260 million from a year earlier, when it had non-cash impairments.

"This year we saw a sudden and significant swing in hydrology with above average hydro generation storage at the beginning of the year giving way to 80-year-low inflows into the key South Island lakes, culminating in a dry winter and limiting our ability to run our hydro generation," said chief executive Dennis Barnes.

Contact said its earnings before net interest expense, tax, depreciation, amortization, change in fair value of financial instruments and other significant items was down 6% at NZ$494 million. It declared a 26 cent dividend, unchanged on the prior corresponding period, and said its earnings per share was 21 NZ cents.

In its 2018 fiscal year Contact said it would target an ordinary dividend of 32 cents per share, an increase of 23% on FY17.

Write to Ben Collins at ben.collins@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2017 17:18 ET (21:18 GMT)