BUSINESSDESK: Meridian Energy will pay a $71.3 million dividend on its earnings for the first half of the financial year, in line with its policy of a 75% payout ratio.
The company declared an underlying net profit after tax of $98.9m for the six months to December 31, down 20% on the previous period, largely thanks to the sale its two Tekapo hydro power stations to Genesis Energy as part of government-mandated electricity sector reforms.
Low hydro inflows during the period also reduced earnings for the largest of the state-owned electricity companies slated for partial privatisation over the next five years.
“Board approval of this level dividend is positive reinforcement of the company’s performance during this period,” chief executive Mark Binns said.
The company was also ensuring it had sufficient capacity to fund future growth plans.