Mighty River profit beats IPO forecast

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 08:59 20/08/2014
Fraser Whineray
SEAN WILLIS/Fairfax NZ

INTERNAL APPOINTMENT: Fraser Whineray will step up to the top at Mighty River Power in September.

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Mighty River Power has beaten IPO forecasts with a near-doubling of its net profit.

The power company, which listed on the NZX last May as part of the government's state-owned enterprise sell-down, has reported a net profit after tax of $212 million for the year ending June 30.

That was well ahead of its IPO forecast of $160m and is an 84 per cent increase from its 2013 net profit of $115m.

The profit came despite the worst-ever patch for water running into its key Waikato River hydro dams.

MRP declared an increased final dividend of a fully-imputed 8.3 cents, up half a cent on the prospectus forecast. The total full year dividend was 13.5 cents per share, 4 per cent better than the initial public offer forecast.

Chairwoman Joan Withers said there had been real challenges in the past year.

"Our hydro inflows (were) the lowest in Mighty River Power's history and (there was) intense pricing pressure in the market across all customer segments," she said.

Mighty River Power's average energy price for both its business and residential customers was flat over the past year.

MRP chief executive Doug Heffernan said the extra base-load electricity generation from the new Ngatamariki station took geothermal production to 42 per cent of the company's total. MRP also made a conscious decision to reduce commercial customer sales commitments which helped offset limited hydro inflows to the Waikato Hydro System.

Fraser Whineray will take up the role of Chief Executive on 1 September following Doug Heffernan's decision to step down after 16 years with MRP.

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