ESB pays €60m dividend to State after surge in profit
Energy group records €205 million first-half pretax profit, up €134.5 million on last year
ESB Group said while Brexit was leading to uncertainty, the group would “continue with prudent financial management of its UK assets”.
ESB Group has reported a huge jump in profit for the first six months of the year as it paid a €60 million dividend to the State.
The energy group, which employs more than 7,000 people in Ireland, recorded a €205 million pretax profit for the first half, compared with a €70.5 million profit for the same period a year earlier.
Revenue rose slightly to €1.68 billion from €1.63 billion as operating profit increased to €297 million from €287 million.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose to €673 million from €638 million a year earlier.
“In the face of intense competition, the results for the first six months of 2017 reflect a strong operating performance across ESB Group,” said group finance director Pat Fenlon.
“ESB continues to focus on delivering value and investing in critical long-term electricity infrastructure for the benefit of our customers, shareholders and the wider Irish economy, and this is enabled by maintaining a strong financial position,” he added.
Investment in infrastructure
The energy group, which has paid dividends totalling nearly €1.5 billion to the exchequer over the last 10 years, said it had invested €303 million in energy infrastructure and other investments during the first six months of 2017.
According to the latest figures, generation and wholesale markets operating profit declined by €24 million in the first half to €87 million as a result of lower energy margin earned in the single electricity market.
Northern Ireland Electricity Networks operating profit amounted to €19 million, up €4 million due to lower operating costs. Electric Ireland, meanwhile, recorded an €1 million decline in operating profit, to €46 million, due to the impact of price reductions and lower numbers of customers.
Another segment, which covers innovation and business services, including the financial costs of the group, reported a €36 million operating loss, an improvement of €9 million compared with the same period last year.
The group said that while Brexit was leading to uncertainty, it would “continue with prudent financial management of its UK assets”.