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New businesses help NGC underlying profit

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 17th August 2000

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Natural Gas Corporation says a number of growth initiatives have helped it to record a 31.8% increase, to $43.5million, in net earnings from ongoing activity in the year ended June.

The key word in that statement is "ongoing", because the net earnings figure was in fact down considerably on last year's total of $60.2 million.

However the company points out that figure was lifted by a $27.2 million contribution from a former gas loan investment which was sold in May 1999.

Sales revenue more than doubled from, $632.8 million from $294.6 million.

NGC says it has enjoyed the first full year of contribution from its investments in an expanded energy trading portfolio, including LPG wholesaling and retailing, electricity retailing and a broader natural gas retailing base.

The company says its decision to acquire a majority shareholding in TransAlta during the year was a further and significant initiative.

It has announced a fully imputed final dividend of 3.5 cents, bringing the year's total dividend to 8.5 cents per share. The level of dividend includes those paid on the 315.5 million new shares issued in May after a rights offer, and is equivalent to the 10 cents per share ordinary dividend paid for the 1999 year, based on the weighted average shares on issue.

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