Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Power NI Energy


Power NI Energy is the largest supplier of electricity to domestic users - and some business customers - in Northern Ireland. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Viridian Group. For domestic customers, it is subject to the supervision of the Utility Regulator.

In the year to March 31 2017, Power NI supplied 517,000 domestic households - 58% of all - but down 28,000 from a year earlier. The company also has supply contracts with 34,000 non-domestic users, usually businesses and farms, representing 18% of the non-domestic market.

As a regulated utility, the company is monitored each year, retrospectively, to test if the turnover includes any over, or under-recovery of revenue compared to the business model approved by the regulator.

In the year to March 2015 it over-recovered an excess of £30m and in the next year over-recovered more than £4m.

These over-recoveries partly cancelled out the previous three years of under-recovery. By the end of last March there was a balance of over-recoveries of nearly £15m.

The allowed revenue, adjusted for over-recovery in 2014-15, would have been £538m and the adjusted operating profit would have been £32m.

Making these corrections, the operating profit in the last three years has been stable at £32m, £33m and nearly £34m respectively.

Significantly, Power NI has experienced year-on-year decreases in turnover, from over £600m in 2013 to just over £445m recently. This has been caused by a combination of some fluctuation in retail prices and a loss of market share to competitors.

Power NI made dividend payments to the parent company of £30m in the year to March 2016 along with £25m in the more recent year. As a supplier, it does not own major tangible physical assets.

The equity investment, as summed in the balance sheet and including working capital, was stated as £114.6m at the end of March 2015. In March 2017 the balance sheet value was £113.9m. The value of its supply licence is part of a balance sheet value of intangible assets of £31.3m.

In NI, the Viridian Group also owns Energia and some wind farms. In April 2016 the Viridian Group was purchased by I Squared Capital.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.