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Infratil profit falls 50%

Monday 17th November 2008

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Infratil, the infrastructure investment company that owns airports, bus and power companies, posted a 50% decline in first-half profit on a reduction in the value of derivative contracts.

Net income was $7.3 million, or 1.4 cents a share, in the six months ended September 30, from $14.5 million, or 3 cents, a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange today. Gains on derivatives fell by $13.4 million to $7 million.

Changes to the value of derivatives masked a stronger operating performance on the back of record earnings from Infratil's 50.5% owned utility TrustPower and 66% owned Wellington International Airport. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and revaluations jumped 22% in the first half, to $203 million.

Earnings also gained from its Infratil Energy Australia unit. Earnings declined at Infratil's New Zealand Bus unit, which operates bus services in Auckland and Wellington, and at its Infratil Airports Europe business, reflecting a loss of freight services at Glasgow and Kent.

Shares on Infratil fell 1.6% to $1.81 and have dropped 35% this year. The company will pay a first-half dividend of 2.5 cents a share.

By Jonathan Underhill

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