After two separate downgrades, expectations for Origin Energy’s interim result weren’t high, yet they still disappointed. Although revenue rose 14% to $7.4bn, net profit fell 34% to $524m. Reported profit is next to useless for Origin as it includes mark to market movements of hedging agreements and other oddities. On an underlying basis, net profit fell 26% to $362m. From underlying earnings per share of 33 cents, a fully franked 25 cent dividend was declared (ex date 26 February).
The dramatic loss was caused primarily because of falling margins in the retail energy business; underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) falling from $820m last year to just $660m, a decline of 20%.