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Bigger proves better for TrustPower

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 29th November 2000

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Electricity company TrustPower (NZSE: TPW) has posted an improved interim profit of $16.87 million and says it is well placed to grow both its retail and power generation business.

The half-year result was up 11% on last year, with sales rising from $209 million to $254 million for the six months ended September.

Although tough retail competition is expected to continue, putting pressure on margins, TrustPower says improved efficiency and savings from greater scale of operations should see profitability maintained at an acceptable level.

The company now has 240,000 customers and has been successfully campaigning for new business in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin where it expects to pick up further sales.

TrustPower is also looking a number of new ways to increase its generation output, including upgrading some of the company's existing plant and possibly doubling the size of the Tararua wind farm. A proposal to set up a new power station at Dobson on the South Island's West Coast is also on the cards.

Another possible revenue stream could see the company capitalising on the expertise it has developed in wind power generation by providing consulting or other services to the Australian market, where some discussions have already taken place with interested parties.

A non-imputed interim dividend of 9.206 cents per share has been declared.

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