The utility’s operational profit was built on EBITDA of $198M and improved net cash from operations of $44M. The business reported a net profit of $291M after Fair Value Adjustments, with the utility’s debt position finished the year at $904M, $55M better than budget.

Chairman Dr David Crean said that while this was a welcome result after three years of drought, Hydro Tasmania had some way to go before its returns matched those of its competitors in the national market, and the focus remained on improving its underlying financial strength for long-term business sustainability.

The utility also faces challenges and opportunities arising from uncertainties about the global financial environment, national policy direction, the introduction of competitive generation in the Tasmanian electricity market and future water inflows.

Recent rains have boosted water storages to almost 47% of full energy, the highest they have been for six years. This is a significant improvement from the low in June 2006 of 16.5%.

The utility’s financial results were achieved despite below average inflows for the year of 8400GWh of energy and a strategic business decision to rebuild storages for long-term sustainable use, the end result of which was a net import by Tasmania for the year across Basslink of around 2570GWh. Generation from hydro assets represented approximately 67% of Tasmanian electricity consumption in 2008/09.