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ESB blames impact of weakening sterling on operating profit decrease of €38m

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Profits represent a 6.1pc return on the capital employed in ESB

Profits represent a 6.1pc return on the capital employed in ESB

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Profits represent a 6.1pc return on the capital employed in ESB

ESB has reported an operating profit for 2016 of €597m - and profit after interest and tax of €186m.

The company said that the profits - which represent a 6.1pc return on the capital employed in ESB - "reflected strong operational performance".

ESB attributed the decrease of €38m in 2016 operating profits before exceptional items to the impact of weakening sterling on earnings.

Meanwhile, profit after interest and tax decreased by €100m to €186m "primarily due to negative (non-cash), fair value movements on Northern Ireland inflation linked interest rate swaps, reflecting the current low interest rate environment".

“In the face of intensifying competition, these results reflect a strong operating performance across the ESB Group," ESB’s Group Finance Director, Pat Fenlon said. 

"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.”

The ESB said it had paid almost €1.5bn to the Exchequer over the past decade - and invested €897m in energy infrastructure last year.

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