Tilt Renewables posts FY loss, trims dividend as lack of wind curbs generation

Wind and solar energy. Photo; Getty Images

Tilt Renewables, the wind and solar generation facilities which split from Trustpower in 2016, posted an annual loss and trimmed dividends as a lack of wind in New Zealand and Australia stifled generation at its windfarms.

The Auckland-based company reported a loss of A$2.8 million, or 0.89 cents per share, in the 12 months ended March 31, compared to a profit of A$16.4 million, or 5.23 cents, a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value movements - its preferred measure - dropped 16 percent to A$103.8 million, as revenue declined 9 percent to A$158 million on a 12 percent drop in electricity generation to 1,796 gigawatt hours.

"This reduction was driven in New Zealand by below average wind conditions and in Australia by a combination fo below average wind conditions and the impact from constraints put in place by the market operator," the company said in a statement. "The low wind conditions across Australia and New Zealand were largely experienced in the June 2017 quarter with the impact partially offset by improved Australian production in the last three quarters of FY18."

The annual result matched the decline posted in Tilt's first-half earnings when still wind conditions weighed on the alternative electricity generator and prompted the board to reduce its dividend payment.

The board today declared a final dividend of 1.8 Australian cents per share, payable on June 8 with a record date of May 25, down from 2.25 cents a year earlier. That takes the annual payout to 3.05 cents per share compared to 5.25 cents in 2017.

Tilt is more optimistic about the coming year, projecting annual ebitda of between A$120 million and A$127 million once the 54-megawatt hour Salt Creek Wind Farm comes on stream in July. The company has bid for the Victorian state government's renewable energy auction scheme with its 336 MW Dundonnell wind project and said it's well-placed to benefit from a growing appetite for renewable energy across the Tasman.

The company said the New Zealand outlook has improved since it secured a consent for a North Island option at Waverly in South Taranaki, and on greater national demand with increased production at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

The shares last traded at $1.94 and have dropped 9.4 percent over the past 12 months.