Operating profit jumps 45pc at ESB as Covid restrictions ease

ESB has reported operating profit before exceptional items of €363m for the first half of this year, a massive jump on the profit of €249m in the corresponding period last year.

he semi-State said the performance this year was driven by the recovery of electricity demand and capital work programmes with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the timing of network tariff changes.

In addition, it experienced positive foreign exchange movements.

Revenue and other operating income for the six months to June 30 was €2.15bn, up from €1.86bn in the first half of 2020, according to interim results.

The company, which has around 7,800 employees, invested €435m in electricity infrastructure in the first half of 2021, including renewable generation.

ESB made a profit after tax of €128m in the six month period, a swing on the loss of €66m in the same period last year.

Pat Fenlon, ESB’s chief financial officer, said: “In the context of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, ESB delivered an improved set of financial results as electricity demand increased compared to the first six months of 2020.”

“ESB continues to invest in energy infrastructure to help deliver a low carbon energy future. Delivering long term value for the benefit of our customers, shareholders and the wider economy continues to be a key focus for ESB.”

In the first half of this year ESB had a net exceptional charge of €24m. This was made up of a non-cash impairment charge on the Neart na Gaoithe Scottish offshore wind farm project, offset by a gain on the sale of a 47pc stake in Tilbury Green Power, a waste wood energy plant in Britain.

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