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Meridian Energy underlying profit down 13%

Meridian Energy’s underlying profit after tax for the year ended June 30 was down 13% to $219.0 million, a $32.9 million fall from last year.

Meridian is one of a handful of state-owned enterprises in line for a partial sell-down if National wins the next election.

The reduction was largely driven by the increase in depreciation charges ($35.0 million) following the revaluation of Meridian’s New Zealand generation assets at 30 June 2010. 

It was also due to the increase in net finance costs ($22.6 million) due to extra funding requirements to advance generation developments.

Group net profit after tax was $303.1 million, an increase of $119.1 million on last year, which included the one-off net gain of $157.4 million from the sale of the Tekapo A and B hydro 
stations to Genesis 
Energy on June 1..

Ebitdaf (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and financial instruments) was $659.9 million, an increase of $18.2 million (3%) compared with the same period last year.

The result includes $28.1 million (net of legal expenses) received from Meridian’s largest customer RTA Power (New Zealand Aluminium Smelter) following a settlement concerning 
liability for electricity during the 2008 potline outage at the Tiwai smelter.

Other factors were flat electricity demand compounded by the 
Christchurch earthquakes and the warm autumn/early winter, high hydro storage levels and the loss of generation following the sale of the Tekapo A and B hydro stations.

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