Wed 29 July 21:28:34 NZST

VCT / Announcements

Half Year Preliminary Results for period ended 31 Dec 2011

9:06am, 23 Feb 2012 | HALFYR

Pleasing performance despite fickle economic conditions

Despite fickle economic conditions, performance in both Vector’s regulated and unregulated businesses has been pleasing, said Simon Mackenzie, Group Chief Executive as he announced the company’s interim result for the six months to 31 December 2011.

”We have seen small and steady improvements in first half gas and electricity volume over the past two years, our smart meter business has been strengthened and our gas wholesale team has signed some significant customer and supply agreements.”

Pleasing operational performance had led to growth in revenue, EBITDA* and NPAT**.

The board has declared an increased interim dividend of 7.00 cents per share, up from 6.75 last year, payable on 16 April 2012 to shareholders registered by 30 March 2012.

Financial highlights
- Revenue increased 0.8% to reach $634.3 million (2011: $629.3 million)
- EBITDA improved 1.9% to $323.6 million (2011: $317.7 million)
- NPAT was up 6.9% to $105.3 million (2011: $98.5 million)
- Operating Cash Flow was $242.4 million (2011: $248.1 million)

Other highlights
- Electricity volume increased 1.4% to 4,359 GWh (2011: 4,298 GWh)
- Gas distribution volume increased 1.7% to 11.7 PJ (2011: 11.5 PJ)
- Gas transmission volume was 65.0 PJ (2011: 65.1 PJ)
- Natural gas volume increased 1.4% to 14.3 PJ (2011: 14.1 PJ)
- Smart meters installed as at period end: 316,531 (2011: 179,494)
- Standard & Poor’s BBB+ stable credit rating reaffirmed
- $150 million Senior Credit Facilities established

With more than $200 million invested in capital expenditure every year, Vector is growing steadily, said Mr Mackenzie.

“It’s not only our networks that are growing as Auckland grows. We are also investing in our metering, communications and wholesale gas businesses and exploring growth opportunities.”

Vector is pleased with the performance of its technology businesses. Growth highlights include a new smart meter contract with Contact Energy for the supply of 150,000 units, the proposed purchase of the remaining 30% of metering business Stream and a new contract for communications services with Transpower.

New and renewed contracts to supply major customers, Methanex and Carter Holt Harvey, together with a three year contract to source 3.5 PJ of gas annually from TAG Oil’s Sidewinder field has further strengthened Vector’s competitive wholesale gas business.

The number of OnGas bottle swap locations continues to increase, as consumers and retailers respond to the increased convenience of the new channel. At 31 December OnGas had 618 LPG bottle swap locations nationwide.

For the full year Vector expects EBITDA to be slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations.

For detailed financial commentary refer to the financial performance market announcement, released to the NZX today.

*Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
**Net profit after taxation attributable to owners of the parent

About Vector

Vector is New Zealand’s leading multi-network infrastructure company which delivers energy and communication services to more than one million homes and businesses across the country.

The company owns and manages a unique portfolio which consists of electricity distribution, gas transmission and distribution, electricity and gas metering installations and data management services, natural gas and LPG and fibre optic networks.

Vector is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with ticker symbol VCT. Our majority shareholder, with voting rights of 75.4%, is the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT).

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