AGL Energy Affirms Guidance After Rise in 1st Half Earnings
By Robb M. Stewart
MELBOURNE, Australia--Australian utility AGL Energy Ltd. (AQL.AU) is sticking with guidance for an up to 30% rise in underlying earnings this financial year after notching solid first-half growth, driven by the strength of its wholesale markets business.
Net profit jumped to 622 million Australian dollars (US$491.8 million) in the six months through December from A$325 million a year earlier, while revenue for the period rose 7% to A$6.45 billion from A$6.03 billion.
Stripping out one-time items, including A$127 million in the first half from changes in the fair-value accounting of financial instruments used for hedging, first-half-profit was 27% higher on-year at A$493 million, the energy company said.
AGL affirmed a target set in August for an underlying profit for the full year of between A$940 million and A$1.04 billion, after it last year beat its guidance range with earnings of A$802 million.
One of the country's oldest companies, AGL traces its roots to 1837 and the company responsible for introducing gas lighting to Sydney streets. The company in 2016 moved to sell or close its natural-gas exploration and production assets to focus on a portfolio of power generation facilities and energy-retailing operations.
The company said Thursday the sale process for a portfolio of assets was still underway.
AGL said it would pay an interim dividend of A$0.54 a share, up from a A$0.41 payout last year.
Write to Robb M. Stewart at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 07, 2018 17:06 ET (22:06 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.