Centralines enters the new decade in a strong position

Central Hawke’s Bay consumer-owned electricity distributor, Centralines Limited, has produced a robust annual result for the 2019/20 financial year, spearheaded by excellent network performance and growth.

Centralines Chair, Jon Nichols, said the company has entered the new decade in a strong position, delivering a reliable electricity supply to Central Hawke’s Bay power consumers and a healthy return on investment for its shareholder, the Central Hawke’s Bay Consumers Power Trust.

“Centralines’ high-performing network has not only meant we surpassed the Commerce Commission’s regulatory targets for the quality and reliability of electricity supply to customers, it has contributed to business growth and the prosperity of our region with a 42% increase in new connections.

“As a consumer-owned company, it is pleasing to be able to play an important role in supporting Central Hawke’s Bay to be a thriving and desirable region to live and work, particularly through the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and the devastating drought,” Mr Nichols said.

Centralines delivered another strong financial result this year, with total revenue (pre-discounts) of $16.6 million and a Net Profit After Tax of $3.8 million. “This is after the company returned $1.4 million to its consumers through a discount payment on their August/September electricity bill and is backed by a strong balance sheet with assets of $75 million and no debt,” Mr Nichols said.

Central Hawke’s Bay Consumers Power Trust Chair, Alistair Setter, said the Trust is very pleased with the strong, growing and reliable performance trend that the company is experiencing.

“Network reliability has again been outstanding, which is incredibly important for our consumers. This is a credit to the successful strategies the directors have put in place in recent years, supported by the company’s robust asset management practices and the dedication of Centralines’ team.

“We are optimistic that continued growth and investment in the business will ensure the company is in a strong position to continue to assist and give back to our consumers, particularly those who have been negatively impacted by drought and Covid-19," Mr Setter said.

Beyond providing a quality and reliable power supply, Mr Nichols added that Centralines plays an important role in supporting the social and economic development of the region, with health and safety remaining paramount.

“Our people, customers and the community are at the centre of our success and therefore their safety is at the forefront of everything we do. It is pleasing that there were no lost-time injuries this year in the key risk areas of working at heights, with electricity, or around heavy machinery which we see as a positive reflection of our improved safety culture and processes.

“We are pleased to provide local career opportunities through our growing workforce, which this year included the appointment of our Relationship and Growth Manager who will help deliver further business growth for the company and economic benefits to the region.

“Through sponsorship, Centralines contributed to many local groups and organisations that add to the wellbeing and strength of our rural community, while supporting Central Hawke’s Bay to be a great place to live and work,” Mr Nichols said.

While the foreseeable future is somewhat uncertain and likely full of significant challenges, looking ahead Mr Nichols remained confident that Centralines’ new corporate strategy and track record of strong performance puts the company in a good position to support its customers, and the Central Hawke’s Bay community.

“Along with supporting the region’s growth and prosperity, we remain committed to delivering ongoing support through a reliable electricity supply, line discounts, local employment and further developing energy related projects,” said Mr Nichols.

Key highlights for the 12 months to 31 March 2020:

  • Total Revenue - $15.0 million
  • EBITDA - $7.1 million
  • Net Profit After Tax - $3.8 million
  • Capital Expenditure - $4.7 million
  • Discount Paid - $1.4 million

For full results, please see Centralines’ Annual Report on the website (after 2.15pm):

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