Electricity utility ESB’s operating profit dropped 12pc to €415m in 2012 and profit after tax amounted to €194m, the company revealed in its annual report for 2012, published today.
“Despite continuing challenges in domestic and international markets, we succeeded in raising €1.1bn through the issue of new bonds to repay maturing debt and to fund our ongoing investment programme of up to €1bn per year,” ESB chairman Lochlann Quinn said.
ESB Annual Report 2012 highlights:
- Profit after tax of €194m from which a dividend of €78m will be paid
- €1.8b contributed to the Irish economy
- €1.1b of bonds issued to support infrastructure investment
- More than €600m invested in Irish Infrastructure
- More than €200m of cost reduction of ESB’s 2015 target of €280m achieved
ESB’s board is recommending a dividend of €78m, bringing the total dividends to the exchequer to almost €1bn over the past decade. The company contributed €1.8bn to the Irish economy in direct economic activities in 2012.
In addition, ESB achieved annual savings of more than €200m under its Performance Improvement Programme, which represents more than 70pc of the €280m target for 2015 set in 2010.
Also since 2010, nearly 1,000 staff members have left the company. The financial statement includes an exceptional item of €161m to provide for the costs associated with staff exits in 2012.
The year 2012 proved fruitful for ESB’s energy retail business Electric Ireland, which returned to profitability during the year. Between electricity and gas, the number of customers has risen by 80,000.
“Many of our customers are experiencing considerable hardship and we continue to work sensitively with them to help them manage their bills. There was a reduction of 33pc in disconnections over the last two years,” ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said.