WA in the black

THE WA Government has reported a $160.6 million net operating surplus in the general sector for the three months ending September 30 2001, according to the Quarterly Financial Results Report released last week.

Revenue in the three months totalled $2.7 billion, up 6.9 per cent or $178.7 million compared with the same period in the previous year. The variation in revenue was due in part to higher GST revenue from the Commonwealth.

The revenue increase was, however, more than offset by a $224.7 million or 9.4 per cent increase in expenses largely attributed to salaries and other staffing costs.

United sale news

A CONSORTIUM headed by United Energy Limited, Shell Australia and Woodside Energy has announced the sale of Pulse Energy, EdgeCap and Utili-Mode to AGL for $880 million.

United Energy will receive $83 million for its 25 per cent interest in Pulse Energy and its 50 per cent interest in EdgeCap, while receiving an additional $38 million for Utili-Mode.

United Energy CEO Bob Holzwarth said it was a strategic decision that left the company with no exposure to energy retailing or the energy merchant sector, instead focusing its energy on its core electricity network business.

Growing concern

LISTED timber group Great Southern Plantations has increased its sales 33 per cent for the financial year ended June 30, compared with the previous year.

Sales totalled $56 million, leading Great Southern Plantations CEO managing director John Young to reiterate that the company will be making a steady profit in excess of $18 million, although approximately $2.5 million of this amount will be deferred.

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