AGL expects profits of more than $1billion in 2018
As energy bills soar, the energy supplier has revealed they made $473 million profit in the six months leading up to December 2017
While many families struggle with rising electricity bills, Australia’s largest generator — AGL — today said that it is on-track for record profits this year of more than $1billion.
AGL supplies electricity and gas to more than 3.6million Australian customers.
And on Thursday, AGL announced that they had made an underlying profit of $473million in the six months ended December 2017 and said that they expect their end of 2018 financial year underlying profit to reach between $940million and $1.04billion.
However, over the past year, all of their bills have soared with the energy crisis.
“We are pricing ourselves very competitively but we are not always the cheapest in market,” AGL Chief Customer Officer, Melissa Reynolds said.
The underlying half year profits of $493million were up 27 percent in the past year — not quite, but almost as much as household electricity costs rose.
Each year more than a million energy rebates are paid to more than 800,000 New South Wales households, including $50 vouchers for crisis support.
“Competition has increased in recent months at the same time as government and media attention has increased shopping behaviour among customers,” AGL CEO Andy Vesey said.
However, Vesey underlined AGL’s commitment to customers by outlining a number of new products that he said would help energy consumers.
“We are doing what we can to address the impact on customers of high market prices for energy through our emphasis on fairness, simplicity and transparency,” Vesey said.
“For example, in recent months we applied automatic loyalty discounts for customers on standing offers in some states and launched AGL Essentials — a guaranteed low-rate, digital-only product — and we are soon to launch AGL Pre-Paid, a product designed to provide peace of mind to customers.”
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Though AGL’s profit growth did not come directly from consumers — in fact, the company says customer markets’ profit margins fell — families feel effects of higher wholesale prices in more ways than just their electricity bill.
The announcement comes just days after AGL was fined $60,000 for failing to tell their customers their fixed-term contracts were ending and offering them a new deal.
It also follows criticism for the planned closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley in 2022. However, the company has re-committed to no new coal-fired power stations.
Yesterday AGL unveiled Australia’s biggest wind farm the $850million Coopers Gap project 250 kilometres west of Brisbane.