February 23 (Renewables Now) - New Zealand hydro and wind power company Meridian Energy Ltd (NZE:MEL) this week reported net profit of NZD 109 million (USD 79m/EUR 64m) for the six months to the end of December 2017, a year-on-year decline of 13%.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, changes in fair value of hedges and other significant items (EBITDAF) in the first half of the financial year were down 7% to NZD 329 million.
The company said the results were affected by low inflows in its New Zealand hydro catchments, which resulted in 16% reduction in its electricity generation compared to a year ago and ongoing costs for acquiring higher levels of generation.
Operating revenue increased to NZD 1.44 billion from NZD 1.13 billion, while operating expenses expanded to NZD 1.11 billion from NZD 777 million.
Meridian's chief executive Neal Barclay said that in spite of the low hydro inflows, the company has achieved strong customer-led growth across its segments and geographies.
He also said Meridian is launching a nationwide electric car plan, giving customers with an electric car a 20% discount off their electricity bill. "We’re encouraging our customers to embrace sustainable technology so we’re also going to cover the cost of charging their electric car for a year," Barclay added.
(NZD 1 = USD 0.727/EUR 0.592)