Business Irish

Thursday 18 January 2018

Price hikes give ESB profit surge to €230m

Donal O'Donovan and Colm Kelpie

PROFITS at the ESB hit almost a quarter of a billion euro in the first half of the year, even as the semi-state company piled price hikes on increasingly hard-pressed householders.

The company has said that it is sticking with its near-6pc increase in electricity prices -- despite the huge surge in profits. The price hikes came into effect this month.

The ESB reported profits of €230m for the first six months of this year -- up from €87m during the same period in 2011.

The 165pc rise in profits comes just weeks after the company announced an increase of 5.9pc in electricity prices.

The price hike adds €64 on to the average annual electricity bill for a family. The company also said that gas prices would increase by 8.5pc.

This is the second year in a row that households have faced a price increase going into the winter.

The company said that its main Irish operation, Electric Ireland, had just returned to profitability and that the ESB did not expect to see a similar surge in profits for the rest of the year.

However, a spokeswoman added: "We're not reviewing the price increase."

The electricity price rise of almost 6pc comes on the back of a hefty 12pc increase in October of last year.

Turnover at the company was up €300m to €1.6bn for the period.

Irish Independent

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