Money Electricity price rises power AGL profit

15:51  08 february  2018
15:51  08 february  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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The shutdown of Victoria's Hazelwood power station and summer heatwaves have helped energy company AGL post a strong rise in half-year profits AGL chief executive Andy Vesey said much of the proft lift was driven by rising wholesale electricity prices which increased 12.3 per cent over 2017.

Electricity price rises locked in from July 1, 2017. POWER prices are set to rocket after retailers announced increases of up to 20 per cent and 0 a year for average Origin, EnergyAustralia and AGL have all announced price increases for electricity and gas starting from July 1.

Underlying profit jumped 26.7 per cent to $493 million in the same period, from $389 million.© Bloomberg Underlying profit jumped 26.7 per cent to $493 million in the same period, from $389 million. AGL has recorded a 91 per cent leap in profits as the company rides the wave of increasing wholesale electricity prices.

The company's statutory profit almost doubled to $622 million in the six months to December 31, from $325 million in the December 2016 half.

Underlying profit jumped 26.7 per cent to $493 million in the same period, from $389 million.

Much of the increase was driven by rising wholesale electricity prices. Energy prices increased 12.3 per cent over 2017.

AGL's gross revenue increased 7 per cent to $6.45 billion, from $6.03 billion previously.

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The boss of AGL urges the Government to introduce a clean energy target to help bring power prices down, as the energy company makes a return to profit for 2017.

In NSW for example, three electricity companies Origin, AGL and Energy Australia control 90 per cent of the market. With complaints about rising power prices increasing, the ACCC will now take a fresh look at prices , profits and the level of competition across many states with a preliminary report due

Dividends also leapt by nearly a third to reach 54 cents, 80 per cent franked, from 41 cents previously.

AGL reaffirmed that it expects underlying profit for fiscal 2018 between $940 million and $1.04 billion, in line with analysts' consensus forecast for a profit of $1.02 billion.

Power prices have soared in Australia as domestic producers shifted more gas to exports, making electricity supply and power prices a key electoral issue.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year ordered state governments and gas giants to shore up gas supplies to east coast consumers or face strict export limits.

AGL, which has been blamed for being one of the biggest culprits of carbon pollution in Australia, has committed to gradually ditch coal for gas and renewable power.

It recently rejected extending the life of its coal-fired Liddell plant beyond 2022, saying that power from gas, wind and solar would be cheaper to produce.

with Reuters

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