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Origin has $207m H1 loss after impairments

Prashant Mehra  |  15 Feb 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) has slipped to a half-year net loss of $207 million, with its bottom line weighed down by $533 million in impairments.

The result is still a dramatic improvement from its $1.56 billion loss a year ago.

Underlying profit for the six months to December jumped to $428 million, from $173 million a year ago, helped by an improvement in its electricity and gas businesses and a ramp up in production at the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) export terminal in Queensland.

Chief executive Frank Calabria said there is positive momentum in the business performance.

"Notwithstanding our statutory loss of $207 million, the improvement in Origin's underlying profit reflects a strong operating performance by the business," he said.

"We continued to make significant progress on our twin priorities of reducing debt and improving returns."

Underlying earnings from its energy markets business, which includes retail electricity and gas operations, rose 21 per cent to $891 million.

Earnings from the integrated gas business more than doubled to $630 million, helped by the ramp up at the giant APLNG terminal but this was offset by higher tax, depreciation and amortisation of $187 million.

Origin did not declare an interim dividend, citing its focus on reducing debt.

Despite stating that the retail market remains highly competitive, Origin has slightly lifted its full-year guidance range for the energy markets division.

It now expects underlying earnings of the division to be between $1.78 and $1.85 billion, up from a $1.7 to $1.8 billion range earlier.

For the gas business, its share of APLNG production is expected to remain between 245 and 265 petajoules but cash break-even for the project is now likely to fall to $US45 per barrel of oil equivalent, from the previously expected $US48/boe.

Origin shares were up six per cent to $8.82 at 1032 AEDT.

ORIGIN ENERGY NARROWS HY LOSS:

* Half-year net loss $207m vs $1.56bn

* Revenue up 19pc to $7.94bn

* No interim dividend, unchanged

 

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