2019 Annual Results: Weather a mixed blessing for Orion

1 July 2019

Central Canterbury’s electricity distribution company, Orion New Zealand Limited, delivered another year of solid performance and sustained growth in customer numbers in its Annual Results for 2019.

The company today announced that it had made a $48m profit after tax for the year ended 31 March 2019, $5m below last year’s profit.

Orion Chief Executive, Rob Jamieson said the mild winter in 2018 had impacted revenues for the company, “Last year’s mild winter meant people weren’t heating their homes as much and revenues were lower than expected.

“A wet spring also meant less power used for irrigation in rural areas.

“The fine mild winter resulted in us spending less than usual on emergency work responding to extreme weather events such as storms. That meant we had more time to spend on maintaining and upgrading our network.”

For the fourth year in a row, Orion connected more than 3,000 new customers, bringing its total customer numbers to 204,000.

“Our region’s growth is reflected in a more than 20% increase in our network capital expenditure this year. We installed 175 new substation kiosks throughout the region, increased capacity at our Dunsandel substation and upgraded our Springston substation.

“Our borrowings have increased by $28m to $303m this year, as we continued to invest in our network.”

The company paid a $53m fully-imputed dividend to its community shareholders during the year – Christchurch City Holdings Limited for Christchurch City Council, and Selwyn District Council. This was in line with the SOI target, and $2m less than in 2018.

“We are pleased to be able to make sustainable contributions to the communities we serve to support the region’s growth and renewal.

“We are preparing for a future where customers are looking for more choice and flexibility in how they consume, store and share electricity.

“Lines companies need to gear up for a consumer who wants more control over their energy use, and work with businesses realising the benefits of electricity.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of an industry that’s playing a vital role in building New Zealand’s sustainability,” says Jamieson.

Key figures are:

Financial

  • $48m profit after tax
  • $53m fully-imputed dividends to community shareholders
  • $186m electricity distribution revenue
  • $64m network operating expenditure
  • $78m group capital expenditure
  • $303m borrowings
  • $1,209m group assets

Network

  • 204,000 customer connections
  • 3,317 gigawatt hours of electricity delivered
  • 587 megawatts maximum network demand
  • 74 minutes of network outages per customer

For further information, refer to Orion Annual Report 2019.