Earnings flat at Power NI parent Viridian

Power NI was the best performing part of the Viridian Group

EARNINGS at Power NI's parent company Viridian Group remained relatively flat last year at £97.1 million it has reported.

The figure before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, for the year to March was marginally down from £97.1m in 2015.

But revenue was £1.32 billion - down from £1.46bn the previous - while operating profits fell to £80.7m from £107.3m.

The group also revealed a cash injection of £148m from its new US parent I Squared Capital, to repay a junior loan.

The New York investment fund bought Viridian last month in a £785m deal from Bahrain-based Arcapita.

In addition to Power NI, Viridian also owns Energia, which supplies electricity to business and residential customers in the Republic and business customers in the north.

It also has a power procurement business (PPB) under contract with the Ballylumford power station.

Power NI was the only arm of the group to see financials improve over the year with operating profit rose to £29m from £26m.

It followed an increase in unregulated earnings and higher contributions from small scale renewable projects.

Operating profits at the PPB fell to £4m from £6.4m.

The report said Power NI's customer numbers fell in both residential and business markets to 510,000 (from 545,000), and 35,000 (from 37,000) respectively.

However, the firm still commands a 63 per cent share of the overall market by volume.

Viridian's former Bahraini owners Arcapita had bought the group for £1.6bn in 2006.

Arcapita filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US in 2012 after talks with creditors over a syndicated loan failed.

However, it exited bankruptcy a year later after securing a US$350m (£234m) loan from Goldman Sachs.

Viridian has around 480 workers and has a 20 per cent of domestic electricity and 27 per centre business electricity sales across Ireland.

It has a generation portfolio consisting of 747 megawatts of gas-fired combined-cycle generating technology capacity and 225MW of onshore wind assets in operation and construction.

The company also has 793MW of operating wind-farms under long-term contracts which is expected to increase to around 1,000MW in just over a year.

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