Electricity pylon and cables in the night sky

ESB announce after tax profits of €415m for 2013

Energy retail division Electric Ireland, generates over €2 billion in revenue

ESB has released its annual financial figures for 2013, with the state-owned energy company showing post-tax profits of €415m.

That represents an increase of €80m on 2012, while the ESB group’s overall revenues were up by 4.5% to nearly €3.5bn.

Of that figure, more than €2 billion came from its Electric Ireland retail division. However, its power generation division was shown to be the most profitable, with operating profits of €355m.

As a result, it means Electric Ireland contributed that €2bn towards the Irish economy, providing a significant boost to the sector.

According to the 2013 figures, ESB also poured €825m into capital investment, of which more than €650m was put into Irish infrastructure.

The group also revealed that it was making €250m in recurring annual savings, suggesting a considerable reduction in operating costs since 2010.

ESB is also due to pay a special dividend of €400m to the state, of which around €161m was contributed in 2013.

A total dividend of €258m was paid last year, of which around 5% went towards its employee share-ownership scheme, while the remainder went to the exchequer.

According to its accounts, ESB will target a regular dividend of 40% of its profits after tax each year until 2020.

“Despite difficult economic conditions and increasing competition, these results reflect a very solid performance across the group,” said ESB Chairman Lochlann Quinn.

“ESB has protected its financial strength, which allows us to continue to fund critical energy infrastructure projects, compete effectively against international players and grow our business in the integrated GB / Ireland market.”

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said the group saw a return on capital employed of 7.5% in 2013, a figure similar to other European utilities companies.

“We now offer the most competitive electricity deals in the Irish market, have the highest customer satisfaction ratings (as measured by CER) and have the lowest rate of disconnections among the three main electricity suppliers,” he said.