14 May 2004
TrustPower Limited is pleased to announce a consolidated operating surplus after tax of $61.9 million for the year ended 31 March 2004, representing a 32 per cent increase on the result for the 2003 financial year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation also grew strongly by 27 per cent to $140.4 million from $110.4 million in the previous year.
Total revenue of $631.5 million was down 5 per cent on the previous year mainly as a result of the Company's decision to withdraw from its residential retailing activities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Customer numbers fell to 224,000 from 274,000 as the result of this initiative and the Company's retail customer sales are now better aligned with its own generation output.
An 8% reduction in total operating expenses to $542.5 million enabled a higher pre tax profit to be achieved in conjunction with a lower risk profile.
Generation assets performed slightly below expectations with 1,738 GWh produced in the year to March 2004. However lower than expected volume was offset by slightly better prices.
Group operating cash flow was again strong in 2004 at $90.9 million versus $91.2 million in the previous year despite tax payments increasing to $24.0 million from $8.3 million as a result of the Company utilising its remaining available tax losses in the 2003 year.
TrustPower has completed its tri-annual revaluation of its generation assets as at 31 March 2004 as required by Financial Reporting Standards. The revaluation was completed by Beca Valuations Limited on a discounted cash flow basis. The revaluation resulted in an increase of $421 million in the value of generation assets and this is reflected in the asset revaluation reserve at balance date.
The increase in asset values reflects the higher earning potential of TrustPower's renewable generation portfolio in a market which will be affected by the higher prices for new contracted gas post the rundown of Maui.
TrustPower's balance sheet as at 31 March 2004 is very strong. Total consolidated assets have increased to $1,381 million from $995 million as at year ended 31 March 2003.
Shareholders Funds have increased to $866 million from $604 million and this includes the impact of a capital return of $151 million in June 2003 and the payment and accrual of $70 million in dividends for the year. Debt (including subordinated bonds) to debt + equity was 31 per cent at year end 2004 (28 per cent year end 2003).
TrustPower is also pleased to announce that it has successfully completed stage two of the Tararua Wind Farm on time and within budget. The extension of the wind farm provides a further 35 MW of capacity and is expected to generate on average an additional 125 GWh of electricity per annum.
The successful completion of the extension to the wind farm demonstrates TrustPower's ongoing commitment to bring additional renewable energy capacity to the market when it is commercially feasible to do so and to execute developments in a timely and professional manner. TrustPower continues to examine closely further development opportunities for additional renewable generation both in New Zealand and Australia.
The Directors are pleased to announce a fully imputed final dividend of 9.0 cents per share payable 30 July 2004 (record date of 16 July 2004). This together with an interim dividend, adjusted for the recent share split, of 8.5 cents per share provides a total payout of 17.5 cents per share relating to the 2004 Financial Year. This represents growth in dividend payout of 17 per cent when compared with the 2003 Financial Year. In addition, shareholders received a special dividend of 10.0 cents per share (5.0 cents per share adjusted) immediately prior to the 2 for 1 share split on 2 April 2004.
TrustPower's Financial Results
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