Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Viridian Group

By John Simpson

Viridian Group Investments is a NI-registered company consolidating business investment holdings of Viridian Group across the island. It includes, in Northern Ireland, trading figures for Power NI, and in the Republic the results for the Huntstown power stations and the Energia Group.

The group's total revenue has fallen in the last two years, partly influenced by lower levels of activity but also by falling prices for electricity in the generating and retail market. However, the group's underlying profitability has improved.

The difference between operating and pre-tax profits was significantly affected by changes in net finance costs of the businesses and the level of borrowed funds. In the most recent year, net finance costs (inc. exceptional items) at £27.7m were £96.6m less than in 2014-15. Operating profits in 2015-16 fell by £32.8m. Operating profits for each of the main group subsidiaries were relatively stable. The Energia companies had pre-exceptional operating profits of just over £46m. Power NI, excluding the impact of the separate PPB unit, had operating profits of £29m in 2015-16, £3m higher than the previous year.

Average employment in Energia Group last year was 197 people; 12 more than a year earlier. Average employment in Power NI was 193; four more than a year earlier.

Capital spending on fixed assets rose sharply in 2015-16 to over £63m, up from £30m in 2014-15. The accounts also reflect considerable spending attributed to intangible assets of £68m in 2015-16, compared to £45m in the previous year.

Belfast Telegraph