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Company Results

Friday 18th August 2000

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Natural Gas Corporation recorded a net profit $43.5 million (1999 $60.2 million). Last year's profit was inflated by the sale of a gas loan and NGC said this year's result was up 32% on a continuing business basis. NGC plans to buy the 24% of power retailer TransAlta it doesn't already own.

TransAlta's net profit was $18.2 million. The company has changed its balance date twice in the last two years so no figures were available for the previous corresponding period.

Telecom recorded a net profit of $783 million (1999 $832 million). Chairman Rod Deane described it as being "in the middle of a major transition from a network to an online company" and reported a 4.2% rise in revenue, to $3.6 billion, including strong gains from the Xtra internet service and data.

Sky Network Television had a net loss of $29 million (1999 $4.4 million loss). The weak New Zealand dollar boosted Sky's programming costs while strong subscriber growth resulted in heavy one-off costs. Subscriber "churn" was the lowest in the company's history. Operating cashflow climbed from $23.7 million to $59.6 million but earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were only marginally higher at $74.1 million.

Sky City recorded a net profit of $60.3 million (1999 $45.5 million). Improved revenues and margins across all businesses helped the company to beat analysts' expectations of about $56 million. Revenues rose 15% to $294 million, of which $240 million came from gambling operations, which showed solid growth.

Port Lyttelton had a net profit of $14.9 million (1999 $13.1 million). The company reported strong prices for primary sector exports and a recovery in the coal trade to 1997 levels.

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