Firmus parent company's profit increased five-fold in 2022 to £21m

New accounts for Deka Energy show it paid a £12m dividend to its shareholder last year

The £21.4 million profit recorded by Deka Energy Associates in 2022 allowed it to pay £12m to its shareholders.
The £21.4 million profit recorded by Deka Energy Associates in 2022 allowed it to pay £12m to its shareholders.

THE parent company of gas supplier Firmus Energy made a profit of £21.4 million last year, more than five times what it made in 2021.

New accounts for Deka Energy Associates show the surging price of gas inflated the company’s revenue by 85 per cent to £295m for the 12 months to December 31 2022.

It left the gas firm with a pre-tax profit of £24.4m for 2022, almost £18m more than 2021.

The price of natural gas on the wholesale market soared in late 2021 and surged even higher following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Despite wholesale gas prices now trending back at 2021 levels, consumers continue to pay significantly more for energy than in 2020.

After a £3m tax bill, Deka ended 2022 with a profit of £21.4m, a 428 per cent increase on its £4m bottom line profit a year earlier.

The accounts also reveal Firmus actually sold less gas last year.

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The 102.5 million therms of gas it supplied to households and businesses during 2022 was around 4 million therms down on its 2021 figure.

Deka Energy Associates was set up in 2014 as the parent company for Firmus Energy (Distribution) Ltd and Firmus Energy (Supply) Ltd.

The business was acquired by UK infrastructure manager Equitix in 2019.

The accounts show a £12m dividend was paid to Deka’s shareholders on the back of its 2022 performance, £5m more than the £7m paid for 2021.

The publication of the Deka accounts come just two weeks after Firmus announced a 7.56 per cent tariff decrease on the Ten Towns network.

It was the third reduction announced in 2023, but the Consumer Council said the average customer will still pay between £1,334 and £1,363 per year from October, depending on the billing method.

That’s around three times what some households were paying in 2020.

Firmus Energy was awarded the licence the develop the Ten Towns gas network in 2005.

It holds the licence as both distributor and sole supplier on the network.

Stretching from Derry through Antrim to Newry, the Ten Towns network had 64,360 domestic and business customers in 2022, some 4,233 more than it had in 2021.

But the new accounts indicate Firmus lost 4,268 customers on the Greater Belfast network, where it competes with SSE Airtricity for domestic customers.

The company had 46,540 Greater Belfast customers at the end of last year.

The Firmus distribution business continued to expand its Ten Towns network in 2022, laying 153,951 metres of gas mains.

Last week Firmus announced plans to invest £120m to further develop Ten Towns network up to 2028.

The company anticipate it will increase its connections across the network to around 100,000 over the next five years.

The latest work is being carried out in the Waringstown, Portballintrae and Crumlin areas.