Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th August 2017

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UTILITY WEEK | 4TH - 10TH AUGUST 2017 | 19 This week Centrica first half profits fall 4 per cent 'Adverse circumstances' and cessation of storage operations at Rough contribute to fall in profits Centrica has revealed that its operating profit has fallen by 4 per cent to £816 million in its interim results for the first half of this year, while adjusted earn- ings declined by 11 per cent to £449 million. The group said adverse circumstances, including warm weather and the closing of the Morecambe gas field, were contributing factors in the interim results. Its customer-facing business held steady in comparison to the same period last year, although rising input costs also forced Centrica's energy supply arm British Gas to announce a 12.5 per cent price rise for customers on its standard variable tariff. The cessation of storage operations at Centrica's Rough facility also affected profits, with a £268 million post-tax net exceptional charge. There was more positive news over the level of net debt, which was revealed to be down 22 per cent over the past year to £2.9 billion, and on track with the com- pany's vision to remain in target range of £2.5-£3 billion worth of debt by the end of this year. Cost efficiencies in the first half of this year totalled £124 million, and Centrica is confident it can reach its target for the year of £250 million. This would take total efficiency savings to £650 million since 2015. Centrica group chief executive Iain Conn said the results were solid. He reflected: "We have made further significant strategic progress, continuing to reallocate resources away from our asset businesses towards our customer-facing businesses." PT ENERGY EDF sees UK earnings slump EDF's UK earnings slumped by more than a third in the first half of the year, according to the company's latest financial results. Half-yearly earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (Ebitda) for the UK was down on an organic basis by 34.4 per cent to €627 million, compared with €1.1 billion in the same period of 2016. The company said this was "mainly due to the significant impact of lower realised nuclear prices". Across the group, Ebitda fell on an organic basis by 20.6 per cent to €7 billion, with net income excluding non-recurring items down 53.8 per cent to €1.4 billion. Nuclear output in its native French market fell by 3.9 per cent to 197.2TWh, while it increased in the UK by 4.2 per cent to 32.2TWh. ENERGY Engie revenue rises in first half of 2017 Engie has reported an increase in earnings and revenues as it moves towards more low-carbon energy. The firm's results for the first half of 2017 show revenue rose by 2.6 per cent on an organic basis to €33.1 billion, compared with €32.6 billion in the same period last year. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (Ebitda) rose by 4 per cent on an organic basis, to €5 billion. The company said Ebitda in Europe, excluding France and the Benelux countries, was up 16 per cent because of better margins from UK hydro plants, as well as better weather condi- tions in Romania. Engie chief executive Isabelle Kocher said 90 per cent of group Ebitda now comes from low- carbon generation, infrastruc- ture and customer solutions. WATER Borealis expands Thames Water stake Borealis Infrastructure has announced that it will buy an additional 5.5 per cent stake in Kemble Water Holdings, the par- ent company of Thames Water. The deal comes less than two months aer Borealis became a major shareholder in Kemble, leading a consortium of inves- tors who bought out Australian bank Macquarie's 26 per cent stake. The transaction will take Borealis's overall interest in Thames to 23 per cent. Last week, the Universities Superannuation Scheme bought a stake of around 11 per cent in Kemble. Conn: described the results as 'solid' Stock watch 130 125 120 115 110 GREENCOAT SHARE PRICE, FIVE DAY Sep 16 Nov 16 Mar 17 May 17 Jul 17 GREENCOAT SHARE PRICE, ONE YEAR Shares rallied at renewable investment fund Greencoat UK Wind with the publication last week of its half-yearly results. The fund's windfarms generated £39.2 million in net cash during the first six months of 2017. In March the fund bought the Langhope Rig windfarm in the Scottish Borders from GE Energy Financial Services for £39.8 million and a stake in the Clyde windfarm in South Lanarkshire from SSE for £355 million. 123.5 123.0 122.5 122.0 26 Jul 27 Jul 28 Jul 31 Jul 1 Aug Finance & Investment Jan 17 pence pence

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