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Infratil posts first-half loss on charges

Infratil posts first-half loss on charge against U.K. airports, sales slip

Nov. 17 (BusinessWire) – Infratil Ltd., the airport, bus and power company investor, posted a first-half loss after taking a charge against the value of its U.K. airports and to revalue financial derivatives.

The net loss was $31.4 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, from a profit of $7.3 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Operating revenue fell about 2% to $963.8 million.

The charges pushed Infratil’s net result into the red, while operating earnings climbed 5% to $70.4 million. The company has been disposing of non-core assets and raised almost $100 million through the exercise of warrants, building its cash holdings as it negotiates the potential purchase of Shell New Zealand’s assets.

“The economic environment demands an active approach to managing the portfolio and recent transactions are consistent with Infratil’s approach to investment of positioning its capital in growth companies which it controls,” chief executive Marko Bogievski said. “Now that the end of the recession is closer than its beginning, Infratil believes it has the capability and financial flexibility to fully capitalize on the next set of developments.”

The company will pay a first-half dividend of 2.5 cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier. Shares of Infratil rose 1.7% to $1.54 and have edged down about 5% this year. The shares are rated a ‘buy’ based on the consensus of six analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters.

EBITDA edged up 2% to $207.3 million, mainly reflecting 13% growth at majority-owned TrustPower, 1.5% at Wellington International Airport and 42% at Infratil Airports Europe. Against that, NZ Bus posted a 13% decline in earnings and Infratil Energy Australia’s earnings tumbled 64% including one-time items.

(BusinessWire)

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