The group’s net profit after tax (NPAT) was NZ$74.6M for the year ended 30 June 2012, $228.5M lower than last year, although in a statement it noted that those results were boosted by the sale of the Tekapo hydro stations to Genesis Energy on 1 June 2011 (net gain of $157.4M), 11 months of generation revenue from the Tekapo stations and proceeds received following the settlement with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited. Excluding these impacts, NPAT was $28.8M (28%) below last year.

“It’s been an unprecedented year in terms of hydrology conditions,” said Meridian’s Chief Executive, Mark Binns. “The integrated nature of our wholesale and retail business has been key to improving performance compared to 2008. We’ve managed the situation well through conservative generation and by actively hedging our position against contract load.”

Since Binns started as Chief Executive in January, the company has rationalised its non-core investments. This has included the announcements of the decisions to construct Mill Creek and exit both Project Hayes and Mokihinui. Meridian also sold Right House, its shareholding in Whisper Tech’s European joint venture, and is marketing its USA business.

Meridian’s overseas renewable development projects are progressing well, said Binns: “In Victoria, Australia, the joint venture Macarthur wind farm project is on-track to start generating first power in September 2012, and we delivered a solar farm for the Tongan Government under the New Zealand Government aid programme.”

Meridian is trialling its award-winning Powershop offering in the Australian retail market, and is evaluating the potential to develop the Mt Mercer wind farm, also in Victoria. It also started construction on the Mill Creek wind farm, near Wellington, in July.