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FY2017 EBITDAF guidance raised to $510 million

FY2017 EBITDAF guidance raised to $510 million

20 April 2017 – Mercury announced today that it has raised its FY2017 EBITDAF guidance by $10 million to $510 million. This is due to a forecast 250 GWh increase in full year hydro generation to 4,500 GWh resulting from unseasonably strong inflows to the Waikato catchment. Other FY2017 guidance remains unchanged.

Guidance may change and remains subject to any material events, significant one-off expenses or other unforeseeable circumstances including changes in hydrological conditions.

ENDS

Mercury Quarterly Operational Update

Three months ended 31 March 2017

Quarterly Highlights

• Lowest customer switching rate of major retailers

• LWAP/GWAP improved in conjunction with a 111GWh lift in hydro generation

• Hydro generation forecast up 250GWh for FY17 on higher inflows

Commentary

LOW CHURN; ENERGY PRICE UP

For the third consecutive quarter, Mercury recorded the lowest switch rate (churn) among the major retailers. For the quarter ended 31 March 2017, Mercury’s annualised churn was 17.6%, well below the market average of 20.5% based on publicly available Electricity Authority data.

Mercury’s loyalty initiatives continued to appeal to customers with a further 13,000 customers registering to receive Airpoints and customers on fixed-term contracts increasing by 6,000. Customers benefiting from each initiative increased to 110,000 and 149,000 respectively.

The average energy price to customers was up marginally (to $110.70/MWh) when compared to the same period last year ($110.10/MWh). This increase is despite a continued trend of falling prices for commercial and industrial customers (with the VWAP of sales to business customers down approximately $2/MWh).

LIFT IN EXPECTED ANNUAL HYDRO GENERATION

Due to favourable hydrological conditions experienced since February 2017, Mercury has updated its FY2017 mid-point hydro generation forecast to 4,500GWh (up 250GWh on the forecast provided in the preceding operating statistics).

Hydro generation lifted 13% relative to the prior comparable three month period, up 111GWh to 954GWh. This reflects inflows into the Waikato catchment being 170GWh above average and storage being 112GWh higher at 1 January 2017.

LWAP/GWAP was 1.02, an improvement on the same period last year, of 1.03. This benefited from an improvement in hydro GWAP of 2% (to 1.09) despite the management of higher inflows.

Average wholesale prices continued to be impacted by higher than average national hydro generation and averaged $53.49/MWh and $44.37/MWh at Otahuhu and Benmore respectively. This equates to a locational price difference of $9.12/MWh or 21% of the average Benmore price (continuing on from the previous quarter, being $8.38/MWh or 21%).

Geothermal generation was down slightly due to planned plant outages during the period at Ngatamariki and Nga Awa Purua. Geothermal plant availability remains strong, with the quarter again exceeding 95% (relative to 98% for the same quarter last year).

DEMAND SLIGHTLY LOWER

After adjusting for temperature, national demand was down 0.2% compared to the same quarter last year. The reduction in demand was mostly attributable to the industrial sector (-0.5%), which was partially offset by increased demand in the dairy process sector (0.2%).

ENDS

Mercury_Operational_Update.pdf

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