Contact earnings fall 13% on tough wholesale conditions

Contact earnings fall 13% on tough wholesale conditions. Photo: John Sefton

Contact Energy, the country’s second-largest gas and power retailer, says full-year profit fell 13 percent as low hydro storage increased its energy costs and tough competition kept pressure on retail margins.

Net profit fell to $132 million in the year ended June 30, from $151 million a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and changes in financial instruments fell to $481 million, down 4 percent from a revised $501 million a year earlier.

Underlying profit, which excludes changes in financial instruments, fell to $130 million, down 9 percent from $142 million a year earlier. Prior year earnings were restated to reflect a change in accounting standards.

The company will pay a second-half dividend of 19 cents per share on Sept. 18, taking the full-year payout to 32 cents, up from 26 cents last year.

The shares last traded at $5.76, having increased 3.6 percent so far this year.