Aurora Energy’s financial result in 2012-13 was the strongest in its history, following significant cost reductions across the business and coinciding with the smallest electricity price increase for several years.

Chairman Geoff Willis said the company’s underlying profit of $76.5 million was more than $20.1 million higher than the prior year and would enable increased returns to be made to the Tasmanian Government.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of this result is that it is largely attributable to cost reductions made across the organisation,’’ Mr Willis said.

“A reduction in functional expenses and finance costs of more than $31 million compared to the previous year testifies to the strong management of the company in a period of major industry reform.”

“Thanks to the hard work of Aurora employees we have increased our total returns to the Tasmanian Government by 36 per cent or more than $10.1 million to $37.9million in the past financial year.’’

Mr Willis said Aurora’s Board would be recommending the payment of a dividend of $25 million to the Government later this year, after a $16 million payment last year.

“It is pleasing that the commercial return to our shareholders will flow through to the Tasmanian community,’’ Mr Willis said.

Mr Willis said Aurora group revenue rose 4.3 per cent over the previous year to $1.56 billion, while the cost of energy and transmission purchases increased by 5.4 per cent to $1.063 billion.

Aurora Energy CEO Dr Peter Davis said that more than two years of restructuring, productivity and efficiency initiatives had resulted in Aurora’s functional expenses reducing by more than 7 per cent.

“The transformation that has taken place across Aurora over the past two years has resulted in a streamlined workforce that is clearly focused on meeting customer needs at the lowest sustainable cost,’’ Dr Davis said.

“Balancing our ‘business as usual’ activities with reform implementation presents a significant challenge for our company over the next 12 months.

“Aurora’s people are demonstrating great resilience in the face of change, demonstrated by their commitment to quality customer service.’’

Chris is a publishing veteran, having launched more than ten magazines over the course of his career. As the Publisher of Utility, his role today is more hands-off, but every now and then he likes to jump back on the tools and flex his wordsmithing muscles.

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