Power seller posts record electricity sales

WESTERN Power has reported a $222.1 million after tax profit for the 2002-03 year, up 7 per cent on last year’s result.

The profit was recorded on the back of revenues of about $1.7 billion.

The utility sold a record 13,536 gigawatts of electricity.

The Western Australian Government will receive a payment of $224.8 million – a combination of dividends and taxes.

That is up 16.3 per cent on the previous year’s $192.6 million which also included the $20 million top up the Government called for.

It spent $472.6 million on capital works and had total debt of $2.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion last year.

Western Power plans to spend an extra $400 million on transmission systems and $550 million on distribution systems over the next four years to ensure overall reliability of the South West Interconnected System – WA’s main power grid.

Western Power managing director Stephen van der Mye said fuel costs remained a major concern to the utility.

That payment takes to more than $1.4 billion the sum Western Power has paid to Government since its inception in 1995.

Aluminium ship builder Austal has reported a net loss after tax and outside equity interest of $18.7 million for the 2002-03 year.

Revenue for the year was $307.8 million, down 10.4 per cent on the previous year.

However, the company has confirmed that it has $320 million in contracts on hand for construction during the 2004 and 2005 financial years.

Austal managing director Bob McKinnon said while the company’s core business operations in commercial and military vessel construction performed satisfactorily, previously announced costs associated with developing Oceanfast luxury motor yachts and Austal USA’s production capabilities hit the final result.

Losses from those operations were $18 million and $12.9 million respectively.

The overall result was also affected by a $3.7 million provision for the Austal Group Management Share Plan loans.

Mr McKinnon said the Oceanfast loss was mainly attributable to difficulties in obtaining sufficient skilled labour to complete vessels efficiently.

Austal USA’s performance was impacted by higher than expected work-force development costs, primarily due to lower than anticipated labour productivity levels and the consequent training demands.

Nickel producer Mincor Resources NL has announced a maiden 1.5 cent fully franked dividend on the back of a $9.1 million net profit for 2002-03.

The result is down only slightly on its $9.3 million net profit last year.

Mincor managing director David Moore attributed the profit to another strong operational performance by the company’s 76 per cent-owned Miitel and Wannaway Nickel Mines near Kambalda.

Sales revenue for the year increased by 23 per cent to $78.9 million. Operating cash flows for the year were $32.2 million.

Newcrest Mining has reported an after tax profit of $92.2 million for the full year based on gold production of 714,377 ounces and sales of 724,583 ounces for the 2002-03 year.

Sales revenue increased to $607.2 million on the $479.7 million in the previous fiscal and cash costs for the year were 14 per cent lower at $217/oz.

Cashflow from operations improved to $199.3 million from $90.3 million in the previous year.

The company has maintained a fully franked dividend of 5 cents a share.

Newcrest’s new Ridgeway mine made a strong contribution to the results.

Working Systems Solutions has reported a $686,000 loss for the 2002-03 year, even though it recorded a pre-tax and adjustments profit of $573,000.

Company CEO Mathew Cherian said the book loss was the result of an accounting error last year that had to be reversed.

The before tax profit represented an 8.6 per cent return on revenue and a 12 per cent return on equity.

Mr Cherian said the company also removed all goodwill from its balance sheet and made provisions for closing its offshore operations – something that he believes will reduce the companies depreciation and amortisation further next year.

This year depreciation and amortisation was down 33 per cent on 2001-02.


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