Hydro Tasmania has reported another productive year and a better-than-expected financial result for 2018–19.
The business achieved an underlying profit of $195 million – almost 20 per cent above budget.
Chairman Grant Every-Burns said the outstanding result was due to good rains, excellent trading conditions in the National Electricity Market and increased customer sales through its Victorian-based retailer Momentum Energy.
“While Australia’s energy landscape continues to be volatile, the business has performed well, with a focus on meeting the needs of Tasmanians, keeping costs as low as possible and building long-term security for the state,” Mr Every-Burns said.
“Finishing the year in such a strong financial position will deliver an increased return to the people of Tasmania, with a dividend of $120 million to be paid in the 2019–20 financial year, an increase of $14.8 million on what was projected in the State Budget.
“We also reduced our net debt by $150.6 million – down to $548.6 million.
“Our management of storages has ensured Tasmania is well-placed to withstand any unexpected circumstances. Once again, we comfortably exceeded our storage targets, with 40 per cent at the start of summer and just over 34 per cent at the end of June and remained above the High Reliability Level throughout the year.
“At the same time, we continued to map out an exciting energy future for the state through the Battery of the Nation (BotN) initiative, which will not only enhance Australia’s future electricity supply, but potentially create thousands of jobs in Tasmania in the process.
“We selected three of our best pumped hydro storage opportunities, committed up to $30 million to further investigate their potential and provided critical support to TasNetworks in their development of the proposed second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria.
“During the year, our power and water consultancy business Entura was awarded future work valued at a total of $50 million, the first time it has achieved this level of sales since 2013.
“And, despite the significant effort required to plan for and implement a range of major reforms to retail regulation taking effect 1 July 2019, Momentum Energy’s continued focus on customers achieved a 16 per cent increase in its customer base,” he said.
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Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Davy said while these achievements have laid the groundwork for Hyrdo Tasmania’s future success, the company’s relationship with the Tasmanian community has been strengthened through a range of initiatives and programs.
“We increased our support for Engineers Australia’s Driving Diversity Scholarship, which aims to boost the number of women entering engineering careers,” Mr Davy said.
“We also funded another six projects to help make Tasmanian communities safer, more connected and more empowered under our Community Grant Program.
“We are well placed to continue serving the people of Tasmania and are looking forward to another busy year – one that has the potential for Tasmania to significantly contribute to meeting Australia’s future energy needs while security our own energy future.”
The 2018–19 annual report was tabled in State Parliament and is available on Hydro Tasmania’s website.