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Battling Through A Turbulent Year

For Immediate Release

8 December 2009

Battling Through A Turbulent Year

In the latest issue of NZ Energy & Environment Business Week,
Editor Pattrick Smellie assesses how the big players in the NZ
electricity sector battled through a turbulent 2009.

There are bouquets for TrustPower which gets 9 out of 10 for
“quietly making money while thumbing its nose at the rest of the
sector,” while Meridian’s 2009 has been called “a shocker”

Pattrick Smellie says Meridian’s “return on assets remains
woeful, an internal shake-up to reduce head office costs dragged
on for months and the abandonment of a key upgrade of back-office
customer service systems are serving to make Meridian an unhappy
ship.” It rates a lowly 5/10 – most likely to have another
torrid year.

Contact Energy also gets 5 out of 10. “On top of self-inflicted
wounds, Contact's previously successful earnings model is
effectively broken until the Cook Strait cable returns to full
operability in 2012. The company’s reputation as a sure footed
contributor to the public policy debate has waned.” It has “a
couple of tricky years ahead.”

NZ Energy & Environment Business Week rates Transpower on 6 out
of 10 “…it has succeeded in nobbling he Electricity Commission
whose days appear numbered in the forthcoming Brownlee reforms.”
It “should be feeling pretty chipper.”

Genesis gets 8 for a good year. “Most improved; most likely to
look very different by the end of 2009.

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MightyRiverPower also gets rated as an 8 out 10 performance. “It
pushed the Mercury brand into Wellington and the South Island,
picking up 20,000 new customers in an aggressive marketing push
that has industry watchers shaking their heads at the prices
being paid to win and retain high value customers at present. It
is seen by NZ Energy & Environment Business Week as most capable
of being privatised.


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