Monday 23 April 2018

ESB pays €60m to the Exchequer as profit increases

ESB has reported operating profit of €297m in the six months to 30 June. Stock image
ESB has reported operating profit of €297m in the six months to 30 June. Stock image
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

ESB has reported operating profit of €297m in the six months to 30 June, an increase of €10m compared to the same period in 2016.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation was €673m, a €35m increase year-on-year.

The result was driven by a strong operational performance, according to the groups interim results.

The electricity group, which employs over 7,800 people both directly and indirectly, paid dividends of €60m to the Irish Exchequer in respect of the six month period – a 100pc increase on the dividends paid to the Exchequer in June 2016.

Read more: ESB ramps up wind farm expansion plans in the UK

The group has now paid almost €1.5bn to the Irish Exchequer in the last ten years.

"In the face of intense competition, the results for the first six months of 2017 reflect a strong operating performance across ESB Group," Pat Fenlon, finance director at ESB said.

Capital expenditure was €303m, a €53m decrease year-on-year.

The group said that it continued with strong capital investment in critical long term electricity infrastructure benefiting the wider Irish economy.

Breaking the results down by segment, the ESB Networks operating profit increased by €32m year-on-year to €181m.

Its Northern Ireland Electricity Networks segment also saw profits rise by €4m year-on-year to €19m, due to lower operating costs.

However profits at Electric Ireland fell to €46m, a decrease of €11m, due to what the group said was the impact of its price reduction and lower customer numbers.

Operating profit in its Generation and Wholesale market was down €24m on the same period last year to €87m as a result of the lower energy margin earning in the single electricity market.

Earlier this month the group said that it was advancing plans to roll-out new wind farms in Scotland and across Britain from 2019, as development of the new projects nears.

The group is establishing a framework agreement for companies that will work on a range of works associated with the wind farms, such as installing electrical systems, fibre-optic cable, telecoms infrastructure, wiring and grid connection works.

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