Origin Energy forecasts stronger profitadmin
Origin Energy Ltd, Australia’s second biggest electricity and gas retailer, has forecast a stronger second half after delivering a 43.5 per cent increase in interim profit.
The power retailer delivered a half year profit of $334.7 million for the six months to December 31, 2007, compared to $233.1 million in the previous corresponding period.
“Based on current market conditions we expect a stronger second half which should result in an increase in full year profit of at least 15 per cent,” chairman Kevin McCann said in a statement.
The profit result was bolstered by asset sales, one-off costs associated with subsidiary Contact Energy’s retirement of the New Plymouth power station and Origin’s acquisition of Sun Retail.
Underlying profit dipped 3.3 per cent to $200.3 million for the half, compared to $207 million in the previous corresponding period.
The company delivered a 31 per cent increase in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to $634 million, compared to $482 million in the previous corresponding period.
Revenue climbed 33.2 per cent higher to $3.817 billion, compared to $2.865 billion in the previous corresponding half.
Origin managing director Grant King said the company’s retail business continued to grow despite “high levels of competition”.
“We have established a strong competitive position through the acquisition of Sun Retail which will be fully integrated with Origin’s business in the current half year,” Mr King said.
The company acquired Sun Retail from the Queensland government last year.
Origin said it continued to undertake significant capital programs and the company was well placed to continue to access funds for its ongoing growth after recent additions to debt facilities.
The company declared an interim dividend of 12 cents.