ESB’s operating profits up €50m in first half of year

State gets dividend of €38m, bringing total paid to exchequer in last 10 years to €1.2bn

‘ESB continues to invest in energy infrastructure to help deliver a low-carbon energy future’

‘ESB continues to invest in energy infrastructure to help deliver a low-carbon energy future’

 

Operating profit at State-owned ESB increased €50 million in the first six months of the year, according to the company’s latest results.

ESB reported an operating profit of €294 million, and profit after interest and tax of €132 million. It paid the State a dividend of €38 million, bringing to €1.2 billion the sum it has paid to the exchequer in the past 10 years.

The energy company said it spent €396 million in capital investment on long-term electricity infrastructure.

The ESB said it was investing in the Grousemount Wind Farm, Co Kerry, and the Oweninny Wind Farm, Co Mayo, which will provide enough clean electricity to power 120,000 homes and business.

It is also developing the electricity network to facilitate increased renewable and other distributed energy resource connections along with increases in customer demand.

Brexit risks

On Brexit, the ESB said it had adopted “a range of prudent financial management policies” to manage the risks.

“There remains much uncertainty about the form and phasing of the UK’s exit, and the full consequences will play out over years rather than months,” it said.

“ESB has considered potential Brexit impacts across the range of its activities with a view to ensuring business continuity post-Brexit. ESB has adopted a range of prudent financial management policies to manage the financial risks and business risks of Brexit.

“ESB’s investment in Northern Ireland Electricity Networks increases the scale of its regulated asset base, and irrespective of Brexit, ESB would expect to operate within a stable system of regulation that encourages investment in Northern Ireland.

“As Ireland and the UK maintain their commitment to the decarbonisation of electricity generation, ESB continues to see opportunities for investment in energy assets as older and more carbon-intense generation assets are replaced.

“Subsequent to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Regulatory Authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland jointly reaffirmed their commitment to the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM) project [which went live in 2018], which maintains a single, harmonised, wholesale all-island market.”

Improved results

ESB chief financial officer Pat Fenlon said he was “pleased” to report improved financial results in the six-month period to June 30th.

“Through our Brighter Future 2030 Strategy, consistent with the Government’s recently published climate action plan, ESB continues to invest in energy infrastructure to help deliver a low-carbon energy future,” he said.

ESB said it contributed €1.7 billion annually to the economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs. It provides “significant employment” directly, with more than 7,800 employees, and indirectly through contractors and service providers.