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Mercury New Zealand Underlying Profit Rises 45%, Expects More Dividend Growth

By David Winning


SYDNEY--Mercury NZ reported a record underying profit in fiscal 2023, benefiting from the integration of Trustpower's retail business and the highest annual hydro generation in the Waikato River catchment in New Zealand for nearly three decades.

Auckland-based Mercury NZ said its normalized earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and fair value adjustments--or Ebitdaf--totaled 841 million New Zealand dollars (US$499 million), up 45% and ahead of guidance of NZ$795 million provided to investors earlier in the year.

Statutory net profit fell 78% to NZ$103 million, from NZ$469 million a year earlier when it benefited from a large gain on the sale of its shareholding in Tilt Renewables.

Directors of the company declared a final dividend of 13.1 New Zealand cents a share, bringing the total payout to 21.8 NZ cents.

Mercury NZ's hydro generation totaled 5,209 gigawatt hours in fiscal 2023, up 42% on a year earlier, and the result also reflected a larger retail business following Mercury NZ's acquisition of that division of Trustpower. That more than offset challenges in geothermal generation, as Mercury NZ faced planned and unplanned outages at its Kawerau and Rotokawa stations.

"This year we realize the full benefits of large-scale investments made over the past two years to grow our renewable generation and customer business," said Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth.

Mercury NZ provided initial guidance for Ebitdaf of NZ$835 million in the 2024 fiscal year, and said it expected to pay an annual dividend of 23.3 NZ cents a share. That would represent its 16th consecutive year of ordinary dividend increases.


Write to David Winning at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 20, 2023 17:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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