Energy group, AusNet has lifted its final dividend despite a near 13% drop in full-year profit to $253.9 million but says it expects to lift pay out again in the 2019-20 financial year which started on April 1.
The energy company told the ASX yesterday the lower profit came on a 2.5% dip in revenue for the 12 months to March 31 to $1.86 billion because of a reduction in regulated revenues, in part because the Australian Energy Regulator had disallowed certain expenditures.
AusNet lifted its full-year dividend payout 5.1% to 9.72 cents a share and said it expected a total dividend for 2020 of 10.2 cents a share.
Despite the weaker profit, AusNet said cashflow was sufficiently strong for it to lift its final dividend to 4.86 cents from 4.62 cents a year ago.
AusNet said it had invested over $200 million in renewable energy over the year, completing connections to three wind farms, with three more planned or under construction.
It is also paying $23.6 million to install technology known as Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter devices to reduce the risk of bushfires caused by fallen powerlines.
AusNet shares eased 1.5 cents or 0.8% to end yesterday at $1.84. But it had hit $1.86 on Friday in anticipation of the 2018-19 result. That was the highest the shares have been since late 2017.