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Drax to review divided policy after earnings fall

16 February 2017 07:28

Drax Group posts earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £140m for the year to the end of December - down from £169m in 2015 but in line with guidance.

The group also confirmed it is reviewing its dividend policy and plans to hold talks with shareholders in the first half of this year.

Underlying earnings fell to £21m fromn £46m.

The group said the result principally reflected very challenging commodity markets and the removal of Climate Change Levy exemptions. It added: "However, we were able to partly offset the impact of these factors with a focus on flexible system support, the prompt and balancing markets, ancillary services and improving retail margins, all of which are important parts of our strategy to develop broader, non-commodity exposed earnings.

"In accordance with our dividend policy, the board proposes to pay a final dividend in respect of 2016 of 0.4 pence per share, equal to £1.8 million.

"This would give total dividends for the year of £10 million (2015: £23 million).

"Given the evolution of our business, the Board believes that it is appropriate to review our dividend policy.

"Discussions with our shareholders will take place in the first half of 2017."

Chief executive Dorothy Thompson said: "We are playing a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future.

"With the right conditions, we can do even more, converting further units to run on compressed wood pellets.

"This is the fastest and most reliable way to support the UK's decarbonisation targets, whilst minimising the cost to households and businesses.

"In a challenging commodity environment Drax has delivered a good operational performance with 65% renewable power generation.

"The acquisition of Opus Energy and rapid response open cycle gas turbine projects are an important step in delivering our strategy, diversifying our earnings base and contributing to stronger, long-term financial performance across the markets in which we operate."

Statutory profit before tax, which includes unrealised gains related to foreign currency hedging, rose to £197m from £59m.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: DRX

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