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Infratil returns to profit on IEA, Greenstone

Infratil returns to profit as IEA, Greenstone perform

Nov. 16 (BusinessDesk) – Infratil Ltd.'s bottom-line result turned to a $16.1million profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 from a $31.4 million loss a year earlier.

The infrastructure investor says its Greenstone Energy petrol retailing business and electricity retailer Infratil Energy Australia (IEA) have been stand-out performers.

Infratil's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and financial instruments rose 25% to $258 million in the six months with IEA's earnings jumping to $61 million from $10 million previously and Greenstone contributing an equity accounted $13 million.

The year-earlier loss was due to non-cash asset devaluations and this year's first-half was also hit by $30 million of non-cash tax charges due to the removal of depreciation on buildings.

“The emerging success of IEA and Greenstone Energy are both in different ways illustrative of the Infratil model,” the company says. “Both companies, one a start-up, the other a venerable 100 years old, were difficult to execute and required a willingness and ability to invest for the future.”

IEA, which started electricity retailing in Victoria in 2004, has been a six-year project, it says.

Greenstone is a joint-venture between Infratil and Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation (the Cullen fund) which acquired Shell's New Zealand downstream assets in March this year for $696.5 million.

Infratil says Greenstone “was acquired amidst scepticism about the transaction's merits and the sector.” After the acquisition was completed, First NZ Capital analyst Rob Bode said the joint-venture partners “have acquired a quality asset at an attractive price.”

Infratil shares fell 2 cents to $1.88 in early trading.

(BusinessDesk)

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