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Profits of €194 million at ESB during 2012

The annual report also showed a €765 million investment in infrastructure.

Image: Electricity Tower via Shutterstock

THE ANNUAL REPORT for ESB has been published, showing a profit after tax of €194 million for 2012.

The surge in profits was the result of the group’s “overall improvement” in performance, said chairman Lochlann Quinn.

The board of the State-owned energy group is recommending a dividend of €78 million be paid to the Exchequer.

Operating profit came in at €415 million, down from last year’s €469 million.

The financial statement includes an exceptional item of €161 million to provide for the costs associated with staff exits in the year. Since 2010, nearly 1,000 employees have left the company.

Despite the optimistic profit and dividend reports, ESB continues to focus on cost reduction. Recurring annual savings of more than €200 million have already been achieved, about 70 per cent of the €280 million target set for 2015.

ESB’s energy retail business, now trading as Electric Ireland, returned to profitability last year. Customer numbers have increased by 80,000 but financial hardship is still creating difficulties for many.

CEO Pat O’Doherty said the firm continues to work “sensitively” with them and noted there was a 33 per cent decline in disconnections in the 12 months.

The Annual Report shows a €765 million investment in infrastructure projects, with €466 million spent on upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution network to accommodate increases in wind generation.

During the year, €1.1 billion was raised through the issue of bonds to mostly European investors. Another €600 million raised will be used to finance projects, including the construction of Carrington power station in the UK.

Download the Annual Report 2012 here>

Read: ESB to sell 50% stake in UK and Spanish power stations

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