Bigger dividend requested by trust
The Marlborough Electricity Power Trust has asked Marlborough Lines to increase the dividend it pays, which is then distributed to power users in Marlborough, the trust says.
Trust chairman Tim Smit said yesterday the trust had signalled to the company that it wanted an increase in its dividend from the $1.7 million paid this year.
Of that, $1.2m was distributed to consumers, with each power connection receiving $50.
Mr Smit said the trust had been working with Marlborough Lines on a 10-year plan for the company and as part of that, the trust had signalled it wanted an annual increase in the dividend from this point on.
"We haven't quantified it at this stage, but we are looking to increase it."
Marlborough Lines chairman David Dew said the trust had made the request and the company had said "that's fine".
"It's just to show Marlborough people they get more and more out of this."
The company was allowing an extra $70,000 in dividends this current year, Mr Dew said.
Marlborough Lines is the lines company for Marlborough - it takes electricity from Transpower's national grid and supplies it to power retailers who then supply it to businesses and homes in Marlborough. Marlborough Lines is responsible for all the substations and power lines that transmit the electricity from the national grid.
It also owns half the lines company in Nelson, has a 51 per cent share in OtagoNet, and a 13.9 per cent share in Bay of Plenty lines company Horizon. It is wholly owned by Marlborough Electricity Power Trust, which holds the company's shares on behalf of the electricity users of Marlborough.
Marlborough Lines had its annual general meeting on Friday, which was not open to the public.
In its annual report, published this week, the company said its group surplus for the year ended March 31 was $11.3 million after tax, a 39 per cent increase on the previous year. It delivered 309 gigawatt hours of power to Marlborough, a 1.44 per cent increase on the previous year. This goes against the national trend where there had been a reduction in energy volumes.
It had its lowest ever customer minutes of lost supply, with 141 minutes. Marlborough Lines aimed to reduce this to 100 minutes by 2015, excluding extreme events such as the earthquakes and severe storms which had "significantly impacted" its reliability so far this year.
Mr Smit said the trust was "reasonably pleased" with the performance of the company in the past year.
"It met all targets or exceeded them for the year. Overall, we are very pleased."
Mr Dew said the board thought Marlborough Lines had had a pretty good year, with most targets achieved.
Mr Smit said the trust's advertisement for potential Marlborough Lines directors had prompted 37 applications.
The trust had interviewed two people, and James Hay was appointed to the Marlborough Lines board at the company's annual general meeting this week, replacing Ross Butler. Mr Dew was re-appointed for another three year term.
- The Marlborough Express