It has been a challanging year at times for Top Energy. The Company has released its annual report for the financial year ended 31 March 2014 showing a 1.5% drop in trading profit (EBITDAF).

The reported service levels dipped slightly last year when power consumers lost supply, on average, for 465 minutes. The Company had been targeting an average of 340 minutes. This lower performance was caused by significant storms affecting the Far North in April and May 2013 and again in March 2014. The result is still much better than 5 years ago when the average was 915 minutes. The Company is continuing with its reliability improvement programme.

The Company has reported that the $200m capital works programme is progressing mainly as planned, although delays are being experienced in agreeing access rights with land owners to build the new 110kV line between Kerikeri and Kaitaia. The early stages of this line build, between Kaikohe and Kerikeri are either complete or will be during the next summer build period.

Chairman Paul Byrnes confirmed that the Ngawha plant had an excellent profit result for the year and that the application for new resource consents, to extend the existing 25MW plant by 2 more 25MW units, is progressing well and is expected to be lodged with the consenting authorities by about September. There are no definite arrangements in place for the development of an energy park on the farm land, recently purchased by the Group, but a number of interested parties have expressed interest in being involved.

The Group’s results also include a revaluation of the Ngawha plant which has added $78m to the Group’s balance sheet.

The discount paid to our consumers, totalling over $5m, provided most residential consumers with a credit of around $200 on their November/December power.

After 19 years as a director, 17 of those as Deputy Chairman, Mike Simm retired as as AGM on Tuesday. Simm has been involved in most of the significant projects undertaken by the Company, including the Ngawha development, the purchase of the Transmission assets between Kaikohe and Kaitaia from Transpower and the commencement of the second 110kV line to Kaitaia. His knowledge, contribution and passion for development of the local economy will not be lost, however, as he is to be engaged as a consultant to assist Top Energy with the energy park initiative.

Another director to resign recently was ex Kaitaia man Andrew Kelleher. Kelleher stepped down owing to other business commitments. The Top Energy Consumer Trust appoints theMike Simm has made a major contribution to Top Energy and the trustees have acknowledged that by retaining his services for many years. We are delighted he will continue an association with the Company.

The trust started a process of refreshing the Board a couple of years ago, with the appointment of Richard Krogh. Richard is the ex CEO of PowerCo, the second largest lines company in New Zealand. We are now bringing Alex Ball and Simon Young onto the Board. Alex is the past CFO of Vector and Telstraclear, Simon was the managing director of Alliant Energy. All three have strong engineering backgrounds. We believe we will have a Board with a wide range of skills and the capability to direct the Group over the next decade as technology changes impact and the structure of the Group is reviewed and changed,”

Shepherd acknowledged that there have been comments from time to time about theour job as trustees is to appoint the best qualified individuals we can, to govern the Company. The directors that we have appointed are all very aware of the need to take account of the local community issues. They meet regularly with members of the community. They are also developing a closer relationship with Far North District Council representatives. Further, local representation is achieved by all the trustees on the trust being local residents. That is a”


For more information please contact:
Russell Shaw, Top Energy / 09-4070622.