The Ausnet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) share price is up by 2.79% at the time of writing to $2.02 per share. This comes after the energy distribution company released its results for the 6 months to 30 September 2020.
What did Ausnet announce?
In the 6 months to 30 September 2020, Ausnet had revenue of $1.04 billion, an increase of 1.8% compared to the prior corresponding period (pcp). Higher revenues were driven by increased residential electricity distribution volumes as a result of COVID-19. The company also had higher lease interest income from completed wind farms.
Other features of Ausnet’s results for the 6 months to 30 September 2020 included:
- earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $661.6 million, an increase of 5.7% on pcp
- earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $429.7 million, an increase of 8.1% on pcp
- net profit after tax of $225.7 million, up 31.4% on pcp
- $1.5 billion liquidity at 30 September 2020
- dividends of 4.75 cents per share for the half year (40% franked), down 6.9% on the pcp
According to the company, profits were boosted by lower finance costs. At 30 September 2020, Ausnet had an average cost of debt of 4.25% compared to 4.48% in the prior corresponding period. The company held an A-/stable rating from Standard and Poors and an A3/stable rating from Moody’s.
Ausnet gave some guidance on its future performance. Dividends for the full year were expected to be 9–9.5 cents, 40% franked. The company forecast that:
- its regulated asset base growth would be around 2–2.5% per annum to FY2024
- it is on track to hold $1.5 billion of contracted energy infrastructure assets by FY2024
- net debt to contracted and regulated asset base should be less than 70% by FY2024
About the Ausnet share price
The Ausnet share price is up more than 37% from its 52-week low of $1.46 and up 11.7% since this time last year. On current prices, Ausnet’s price-to-earnings ratio sits at 25.68 and its market capitalisation comes in at $7.5 billion.