EnergyAustralia has confirmed an impairment in the value of goodwill associated with its Customer business of approximately $A1.1 billion (HK$5.9 billion), reflecting a decline in retail margins, increased competition and the higher cost of capital.
The impairment of Goodwill associated with EnergyAustralia’s Customer business was announced in Hong Kong today as part of an earnings update by CLP Group, EnergyAustralia’s parent company, ahead of the release of CLP’s 2023 full-year financial results on Monday, 26 February 2024.
As part of today’s earnings update, CLP noted:
- After a challenging 2022, EnergyAustralia has delivered a marked improvement in financial performance in 2023 following improved generation fleet performance.
- The impairment in goodwill is the result of more demanding economic and operating conditions that has seen a revision of assumptions on retail margins, customer growth and EnergyAustralia's weighted cost of capital, with retail margins being the key driver of the impairment.
EnergyAustralia Managing Director Mark Collette said: “After a difficult 2022, we made good progress in 2023 by strengthening our operational and financial performance. These outcomes have placed us in a stronger financial and strategic position to shape our future and accelerate our participation in the clean energy transformation.
“We are also working hard to support the 1.6 million households and businesses who rely on us for their energy needs. We are continuing to invest to improve their energy experience and to support the growing numbers of customers struggling with the increasing cost of living. Through our EnergyAssist program, this support covers payment plans, staying-connected guarantees, debt relief and working with customers to ensure they are on the most affordable plan for their circumstances.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Mr Collette added: “The impairment of goodwill is a one-off, non-cash item and is a prudent recognition of the structural changes in our operating environment since the acquisitions in 2005 and 2011 that created today’s EnergyAustralia business.
“For example, the 2023 ACCC report on the National Electricity Market released in December  noted continuing pressure on industry margins and an increase in costs for retailers. Retail margins as a percentage of residential bills were 2.3% on average across the National Electricity Market in
2022–23. This contrasts with equivalent retail margins of 8.9% in 2016–17.
“While we still have much to do, our improved financial performance in 2023 is helping us create a stronger EnergyAustralia today to serve our customers and unlock future value and performance.
“For example, in 2023, we completed major maintenance outages on two of the four units at our Yallourn power station, with the remaining two units being completed in 2024. These major investments are undertaken to ensure safety and reliability at Yallourn until its closure in mid-2028.
“We have commenced commissioning our new $300 million Tallawarra B gas-fired peaking power station in New South Wales, which will play a vital role in supporting more renewables entering the system.
“We are also making good progress with our Wooreen and Hallett battery projects and the feasibility work for our Lake Lyell pumped hydro project, along with growth in behind-the-meter solutions for our customers.
“These initiatives reflect commitments made in our inaugural Climate Transition Action Plan which set out our plan to achieve Net Zero by 2050 across Scopes 1 and 2 emissions,” Mr Collette said.
In December 2023, Moody’s Australia released their annual review of the EnergyAustralia credit rating which was unchanged at Baa2/Stable.
Today’s CLP Group Earnings Update is available at www.clpgroup.com/en/investor-relations.html
For media inquiries contact: Paul Edwards / Paul.Edwards@energyaustralia.com.au
 ACCC, Inquiry into the National Electricity Market – December 2023.