Airtricity hiked prices despite profit of €45.7m

An energy firm that has imposed two price hikes on its customers in the last 14 months saw its profits more than triple last year to €45.7m.

Accounts filed by Airtricity Ltd with the companies office show that the firm increased its revenues by 26%, from €701.1m to €883m, in the year to March 31, 2013.

The figures show that the renewable energy firm enjoyed a 243% increase in pre-tax profits, which rose from €13.3m to €45.7m.

The company imposed price hikes of 4.7% on its electricity prices and an 8% increase on gas prices in October 2012. Airtricity further increased its electricity prices on its 380,000 customers by 3.5% last month.

Airtricity blamed the price hikes on its inability to absorb the rising costs that it is facing.

According to the directors’ report with the accounts for fiscal 2013, “the current year performance represents an improvement on last year’s results, which were depressed by high acquisition costs”.

The directors add that the results for the year “reflect various factors including lower energy costs and an increase in customer numbers”.

Numbers directly employed by the firm last year increased from 216 to 334, with staff costs increasing from €12.45m to €13.7m.

The firm’s shareholder funds last year totalled €82.9m, which were made up of €66.9m in accumulated profits and a capital contribution of €16m.

The firm’s cash during the year increased from €16.6m to €24.9m.

The figures show that Airtricity’s €797m cost of sales last year represented 90% of revenues, compared to cost of sales of €641m, representing 91.5% of income, in fiscal 2012.

The figures show that operating expenses reduced from €44.35m to €41.25m.

Airtricity is owned by the UK-based SSE plc and benefited from €1.1m in interest received compared to €2.3m in interest payable the previous year.

The company last year paid €5.9m in tax, resulting in post-tax profits of €39.8m. No dividend was paid last year.

Meanwhile, Bord Gáis has a new offer which is not subject to contract or any exit penalties and includes a 10% discount for level pay and paperless billing plus €40 cashback as a discount off the bill after 12 months.

On top of that, after 12 months, Bord Gáis Energy customers will benefit from the lowest standard electricity rate in the market.


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