Infratil 1st Half Earnings, Dividend Higher

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--Infrastructure investor Infratil Ltd. (IFT.NZ) said Thursday that its earnings were 18% higher on-year in the six months to September after good market conditions for a power company in which it has a majority stake.

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Infratil, which owns energy, transport and social infrastructure assets, also saw its net profit rise to 33.4 million New Zealand dollars ($23 million), up 15.6% on the same period last year.

The company's net debt and that of its wholly-owned subsidiaries also fell by NZ$237.9 million to NZ$705.6 million after it received the proceeds from a sale of its stake in retirement home operator Metlifecare (MET.NZ). Its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and fair-value adjustments was NZ$291.3 million, up NZ$45.3 million on-year, largely due to "positive generation and market circumstances" for Trustpower (TPW.NZ).

Infratil invested NZ$139.5 million over the six months to September, in initiatives such as a windfarm for Tilt Renewables (TLT.NZ), upgrades to the international airport in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, and the establishment of solar and wind generation in North America through its stake in Longroad Energy.

"Longroad progress in its establishment phase is materially exceeding expectations," said chief executive Marko Bogoievski in a regulatory filing.

Infratil raised its interim dividend for the seventh year in a row to 6 New Zealand cents, up from 5.75 cents last year. It said it still expects its full-year earnings to be between NZ$485 million and NZ$525 million.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 15:29 ET (20:29 GMT)