Launch of ESB annual accounts for 2007


ESB has announced that it intends to make a €300 million contribution to help offset anticipated increases in the cost of electricity to customers.

At a press conference to launch its 2007 Annual Report, ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus, said that agreement has been reached with the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) that ESB would make a €300 million exceptional contribution to help offset forthcoming price increases due to rising international fuel costs (Click Here).

Meanwhile, ESB declared a turnover of €3.5 billion for the first time in the company’s history. It showed after-tax profits of €432 million for 2007, of which a dividend of €123 million is to be paid to the Government.

ESB's capital expenditure programme rose to over €900 million in 2007, with investments concentrated in the Networks system (€600 million) and power generation.

ESB connected 94,400 new customers last year, bringing the level of connections since 2001 to over 580,000.

Launching the Report, ESB Chairman, Lochlann Quinn, described the company's performance in 2007 as excellent. "In an industry facing unprecedented challenges, ESB's healthy financial performance provides a solid foundation for its recently-announced €22 billion investment strategy aimed at radically reducing carbon emissions while enhancing security of supply (Click Here).

"The combination of Government support and the professionalism of management and staff will, I am confident, ensure the company delivers its ambitious strategic goals" - the Chairman said.

The Chief Executive said the company's strong financial performance enables ESB to deliver a world-class electricity system serving 2 million customers. Maintaining a strong financial position is essential to funding growth and the future capital investment. "Responsibility to our customers is at the heart of ESB's priorities.

"A safe, reliable and cost-effective service - while also reducing carbon emissions - is of paramount importance. We are facing huge issues in the global energy market - including climate change, rising fuel costs and growing demand. However, I am fully confident that ESB has the financial base, expertise and vision to withstand oncoming pressures and to position itself as a leading renewables company."

2007 was a year of significant change in the electricity sector in Ireland with the introduction of the Single Electricity Market. ESB's generation market share is now 40 percent of the all-island market.

The company's asset strategy agreement with the CER involving the divestment of generation assets is due to be completed by the year end. This involves the sale of two power stations - at Great Island and Tarbert - two peaking plants and two sites at Lanesboro and Shannonbridge.

Internationally, ESB extended its portfolio - securing major contracts in Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and Asia. At home, ESBI continued to develop a renewables business of scale.

Driving the company's huge capital investment programme while maintaining a strong and viable business with its customers at its core, remains ESB's constant focus.

ESB will reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2010, by 50% by 2020 and will be net-zero by 2035. As a leading renewables company, ESB will also continue to make energy efficiencies a central target.