Origin Energy’s annual underlying profit has risen 41.6 per cent, helped by robust production at its Australia Pacific LNG project, but it’s flagged lower profit for its energy markets business in the 2020 financial year.
Gas retailers face rising pressure from the government to cut energy prices, a move that energy companies say could drive away much-needed investment and increase energy costs.
“Origin knows affordability is the most pressing issue for our customers and in response we are playing our part to put downward pressure on energy prices,” chief executive Frank Calabria said on Thursday.
Origin in November had announced concessions for some of its customers in a bid to deliver lower and affordable prices for its customers.
The Sydney-based electricity and gas retailer said it expected 2020 underlying earnings before tax at its energy market business in the range of $1.35 billion to $1.45 billion.
For the latest full-year, pre-tax earnings in the energy segment dropped 4.7 per cent, while profit for its integrated gas business, which includes the Australia Pacific LNG project, jumped 51 per cent.
Overall, underlying profit from continuing operations for the full-year ended June 30 rose to $1.03 billion from $726 million a year ago.
The company declared a final dividend of 15.0 cents per share, higher than the 10.0 cents promised in February.
Origin’s shares are $7.20 before the start of trade on Thursday, up 11.28 per cent for the year.