SPAusNet – BT

SP Ausnet upgrades earnings forecasts

Australian infrastructure firm SP Ausnet upgraded its earnings forecasts for the 2008/09 year yesterday, buoyed by higher revenues and a debt refinancing.

SP Ausnet, which owns and operates power transmission networks in Victoria state, said it expected net profit to be about 15 per cent higher than a forecast in its 2007 explanatory memorandum of A$147.5 million (S$187.4 million).

Distribution guidance of about 2.5 per cent growth in distributions per security remained unchanged.

SP Ausnet, which is 51 per cent owned by state-owned utility Singapore Power, said revenues would benefit from last month’s decision on transmission charges by the Australian Energy Regulator, along with higher capital expenditure allowances.

Earnings would also be boosted by the refinancing of A$1.55 billion in debt and the finalisation of new interest rate hedges.

SP Ausnet last year pulled out of a plan to pay A$8.3 billion for assets of former energy firm Alinta, blaming a downturn in capital markets which would have increased the cost of the deal. — Reuters

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