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AusNet Services H1 profit rises 14.1% to A$203.7m due to colder weather

POWER company AusNet Services on Wednesday announced a net profit of A$203.7 million (S$210.52 million) for the half year ended Sept 30, 2017, 14.1 per cent higher than the A$178.6 million registered last year.

That came on the back of colder weather and increased customer contributions, said AusNet, an associate company of Singapore Power.

Revenue was 4.7 per cent higher at A$1.07 billion for the same period, up from A$1.02 billion a year ago. Similarly, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation (Ebitda) rose 8.8 per cent to A$647.4 million.

These were mainly attributed to increased energy consumption and lower operating costs, the group said.

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Earnings per share stood at 5.65 Australian cents, up from 5.03 cents last year.

Directors of the board approved an interim dividend of A$167.2 million, or 4.63 Australian cents per share for HY2018, about 0.23 Australian cent per share higher than the dividend from the corresponding period last year. Dividends will be paid out on Dec 21, 2017.

Managing director of Ausnet Services, Nino Ficca said: "Generating trust and respect with customers is a key part of our Focus 2021 strategy. Customers are increasingly embracing new technologies to take control of their energy use."

"Importantly, our cost efficiency programme has been developed to provide affordability and value to customers. We have made significant progress on capturing efficiencies during the period and expect this to continue," he added.