Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Underlying revenue growth underpins Vector profit

Underlying revenue growth underpins Vector profit

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland-based utilities network owner Vector has reported flat topline earnings after tax of $198.8 million for the year to June 30, down 1.3 percent on the 2011 financial year.

But when the impact of a $53 million one-off lease payment from Transpower for access to Vector's Hobson St tunnel the previous year is netted out, underlying revenues were up 5 percent and the underlying net profit increase was 16.1 percent, from $171.3 million the year before.

The strongest growth was in the company's two unregulated divisions, wholesale gas sales and technology, which showed increases in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of 10.4 percent and 16.8 percent respectively, to contribute combined operating earnings of $133.3 million on revenue growth of almost $100 million.

Electricity segment ebitda rose 5.3 percent to $384.1 million, while gas transportation ebitda was up 2 percent at $157.3 million.

The result was also assisted by a significant reduction in interest costs, which fell from $178.2 million a year earlier to $166.2 million, mainly reflecting lower interest rates on floating debt, increased interest on deposits, and the replacement of expiring debt with a $250 million private placement in the US.

Vector shares rose 0.7 percent to $2.72 in early trading on the NZX, with the company declaring a 7.5 cents per share final dividend, making total distributions for the year of 14.5 cents, compared with 14.25 cents the previous year, payable on Sept. 17.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Electricity segment revenues were flat, but for the impact of lower average temperatures in the last 12 months, which pushed consumption up 1.3 percent, while gas transportation revenues benefited from a 4.4 percent increase in volume, despite weaker performance from its LPG business.

"This is due to large gas users turning to Vector as they recognise our willingness to configure gas supply to meet their specific needs and our ability to offer greater price certainty and supply security thanks to our multiple long-term contracts with diverse gas suppliers," said chief executive Simon Mackenzie.

However, the "stand-out" result was in the technology sector, which covers Vector's growing involvement in smart metering and is half-way through the installation of some 670,000 smart meters on electricity retailers' behalf.

With major regulatory issues to be tested in the courts before the end of the calendar year, Mackenzie declined to give specific earnings guidance, but said the company's objective is "to maintain ebitda broadly in line with this year and market consensus, recognising these uncertainties."

He repeated Vector's contention that the Commerce Commission's approach to price-setting for regulated monopolies is "fundamentally flawed" and is "some way" from achieving the desired balance between "consumers' short term desire for cheaper services" and network owners' need to make a return on "safe, secure and cost-effective ports, airports, and telecommunications and energy networks."


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

FMA: MAS To Pay $2.1M Penalty For Making False Representations

Following proceedings brought by the FMA, MAS has been ordered to pay a $2.1M penalty for making false and/or misleading representations to some customers. MAS admitted failing to correctly apply multi-policy discounts and no claims bonus discounts to some customers, failing to correctly apply inflation adjustments on some customer policies, and miscalculating benefit payments.More

IAG: Call On New Government To Prioritise Flood Resilience

The economic toll of our summer of storms continues to mount, with insurance payouts now topping $1B, second only to the Christchurch earthquakes. AMI, State, & NZI have released the latest Wild Weather Tracker, which reveals 51,000 claims for the North Island floods & Cyclone Gabrielle, of which 99% (motor), 97% (contents), and 93% (home) of claims have now been settled. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.