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EnergyAustralia has announced a $337 million year-on-year reduction to before-tax earnings for the first half of 2022 and a massive $1.5 billion loss in post-tax earnings and asset valuation, citing ‘unprecedented instability’ in global markets.

The six-month period net a meagre $26 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, and fair value adjustments (EBITDAF) compared with $363 million for the same period last year.

Underlying post tax earnings – including asset valuations – recorded a $1.5 billion loss for the same period.

Retail customer growth reflected a minor 0.4 per cent improvement for the period, with retail customers now totalling 2.4 million.

A subsidiary of Hong Kong’s CLP Group, EnergyAustralia credited the 93 per cent earnings loss to “unprecedented instability and uncertainty in energy markets globally”.

EnergyAustralia Chief Financial Officer, Alastair McKeown, claimed a number of factors contributed to the rapid earnings decline.

“During the first half of the year, the significant increases in the cost of energy were largely driven by adverse weather and geological issues which slowed domestic coal supply, along with untimely generator outages,” Mr McKeown said.

“Abroad, sanctions against Russia and the war in Ukraine, drove higher prices for Australia’s coal and gas. The culmination of these conditions found us in unchartered territory.

“Our generation output at Mount Piper and Yallourn Power Stations was unexpectedly lower, due to planned and unforeseen maintenance outages.

“We also faced fuel constraints at Mount Piper, which arose from lower-than-expected coal deliveries from our primary supplier. This led to a shortfall in contracted generation and the requirement to settle positions not covered by our generation at high spot market prices.

“Despite these challenges, our team worked hard to make our generators available to provide good supply into the system and help soften the impact of Australia’s energy supply crunch. Our gas assets ran up to seven times the volume compared with the same period last year.”

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