ESB pays €60m dividend following profits of €490m

The utility saw a loss after exceptional charges, interest and tax of €32m

ESB pays €60m dividend following profits of €490m

ESB crews at work restoring power in Tallaght, Dublin during the Beast From the East storm | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The ESB has announced it has paid a dividend to the State of €60m.

The electricity utility has released annual results, which show it made an operating profit before exceptional charges of €490m in 2017.

It saw total capital investment of €867m and a loss - after exceptional charges, interest and tax - of €32m.

ESB says it has given out dividends of €1.4bn to the Irish exchequer over the last 10 years

It says the loss incurred was "mainly due to exceptional non-cash impairment charges of €276m on ESB’s generation assets" - which represents approximately 2% of ESB’s total assets.

ESB says its strategy through to 2030 commits to "leading the transition to reliable, affordable low-carbon energy for the benefit of our customers and the economy".

Commenting on the results, ESB’s executive director for group finance and commercial, Pat Fenlon said: "In 2017, ESB delivered a satisfactory performance in challenging market conditions with operating profit before exceptional charges of €490m and €867m of energy infrastructure and other investments."

The company also noted that in October last year, Storm Ophelia caused "significant damage to the electricity network" resulting in 442,000 electricity customers losing electricity supply.

This led to more than 3,500 staff and contractors being deployed to reconnect and restore electricity to homes and businesses.

The ESB says it contributes almost €2bn annually to the Irish economy through dividends, investments, taxes and jobs.

It employs over 7,790 people both directly and indirectly through contractors and service providers.