New Zealand electricity generator and retailer Meridian Energy [ASX:MEZ] broadcast its half-year 2023 interim results earlier today, with the company reportedly having earned $36 million more in underlying profit over the same period in 2021.
The group reported a 39% increase in NPAT (net profit after tax), while net profit before tax came to NZ$279 million, up from NZ$201 million in 2021.
Thanks to the bumper half year, the board has announced an ordinary interim dividend of 6 cents per share, which will be 2.6% higher than last year.
MEZ’s share price was floating just over 1% higher to its last closing price at $4.90 per share Wednesday, early afternoon.
The New Zealand energy corporation has seen its share value glide up 2.5% in the past week, and nearly 2% over the past 12 months:
Meridian makes solid gains for first half FY23 and dishes out dividends
The New Zealand-based electricity corporation said that for its half-year 2023, it was able to share that the group earned net profit after tax of $201 million.
This was an increase of NZ$56 million on the same time last year — an improvement of 39%.
Meridian said this result included an unrealised gain through hedging instruments, which amounted to NZ$27 million versus a loss of $10 million last year.
It also included $16 million less in financing expenses, handing off the debt linked to its Australian segment — Meridian Energy Australia — which it sold in January last year.
Meridian’s operating earnings from the company’s ongoing operations increased by $31 million, an increase of 8% over the prior period.
Operating earnings were also supported by the closure of electricity hedging, which had amounted to NZ$51 million.
Of its hydrology division, MEZ said that lake storage levels had lifted significantly during the period, which were driven by the highest winter inflows on record.
As expected, spring and summer have provided direr conditions, leading to the Waiau Catchment recording its lower January inflow on record.
Inflows were 114% of average, with storage levels 129% of average in the Waitaki Catchment, and 65% of average in the Waiau Catchment.
And yet, higher than average inflows supported 1.4% higher generation over those experienced last year.
In December, Manapōuri Unit 6 was taken out of service to resolve issues with the unit’s transformer but is expected to be back online within the next few months.
Overall, the group celebrated improved results for 1H FY23, and Meridian’s board announced an interim ordinary dividend of 6 cents per share, 80% franked and 2.6% higher than last year.
Meridian is carrying out a Dividend Reinvestment Plan that will apply to the dividends, with no discount to be applied over a five-day period. This period is set to end on 13 March. The interim dividends will be paid on 23 March, along with the issuing of new shares.
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For The Daily Reckoning Australia