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Transpower reports first year in harness with big upgrades

State-owned monopoly Transpower, operator of the national electricity grid, has reported an 18 percent drop in full-year profit, reflecting higher depreciation and interest costs following completion of major grid upgrades.

Net profit was $216 million in the year ended June 30, on revenue that rose 9 percent to $1 billion, reflecting higher charges the company can now make on its enhanced network.

A final dividend of $91 million, down 34 percent on the previous year, when a $65.7 million special dividend was also paid, has been declared, taking the total value of distributions to its taxpayer owners to $165 million, payable next month.

Operating costs fell in the year under review from $295 million to $287 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and changes in the value of financial instruments was up $94 million to $717 million. However, net finance expenses reflecting debt taken on for the grid upgrades, rose to $209 million from $142 million the previous year, and depreciation, amortisation, impairments and write-offs fros from $205 million to $251 million.

The company had performed to a "satisfactory standard" in the year under review, said chairman Mark Verbiest, and now commissioned "the last of the major transmissions projects" and is now focussing on finding ways to run the grid more efficiently.

(BusinessDesk)