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Origin Energy profit more than doubles as consumers pay

Marion RaeAAP
Higher gas and electricity costs have seen Origin Energy more than doubling its half year profits. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconHigher gas and electricity costs have seen Origin Energy more than doubling its half year profits. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Origin Energy has more than doubled its profit in the first half of the 2023/24 fiscal year as consumers paid more for electricity and gas.

Net profit for the six months to December 31 was $995 million, up from $399 million a year earlier, the power generation and electricity and gas retailer announced on Thursday.

The underlying profit was $747 million, up from $44 million, on higher gas revenue and as government caps on fuel costs for electricity generation kicked in.

Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), a measure of core company profitability, was $1.995 billion, almost double $1.059 billion a year earlier.

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"In energy markets, earnings increased across both the electricity and natural gas segments as our generation assets performed well and on the recovery of higher wholesale costs from previous periods and lower fuel costs," Origin CEO Frank Calabria said.

One of the largest gas suppliers to the east coast domestic market, Australia Pacific LNG production is expected to be 680 to 710 petajoules for the fiscal year and contribute $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion in cash to Origin.

Origin also announced improved guidance of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion EBITDA for the energy markets division on lower electricity procurement costs and growth in customer accounts.

Rising profits are expected to be partially offset by an increased number of bad and doubtful debts and a larger temporary workforce.

Mr Calabria said Origin's strong first-half performance was expected to continue in the second half, but the following financial year's energy market earnings were expected to be lower, driven by lower electricity profits.

Regulated customer tariffs were expected to decline in line with wholesale costs in 2024/25, assuming forward energy prices remained stable and were priced into tariffs, Origin said.

Origin declared a fully franked interim dividend of 27.5 cents per share.

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