Tenaga Posts Third Straight Quarterly Profit After Compensation

Tenaga Nasional Bhd. (TNB), Malaysia’s biggest power producer, posted a third straight quarterly profit after receiving another 750 million ringgit ($246 million) in compensation for disruptions in gas supply.

The Kuala Lumpur-based utility reported net income of 1 billion ringgit, or 18.4 sen per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Aug. 31, compared with a restated net loss a year earlier of 338.6 million ringgit, or 6.2 sen per share, Tenaga said in a statement yesterday. Revenue climbed 2 percent to 9.33 billion ringgit, it said.

Tenaga has been getting compensation from the government and state-owned energy group Petroliam Nasional Bhd. after disruptions in gas supply forced it to buy costlier alternative fuels to power its plants. It has now received a total 3.15 billion ringgit for disruptions since January 2010, according to the exchange filing.

“Gas supply is sufficient currently until December,” Chief Executive Officer Azman Mohd told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. After February, “we will see an increase in demand for gas, but we can manage,” he said.

The group received 750 million ringgit for disruptions from April to August, Azman said. A total 1.48 billion ringgit of the compensation was booked for its 2012 fiscal year, Chairman Leo Moggie told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

This helped lift full-year net income to 4.2 billion ringgit from 965.4 million ringgit a year earlier, according to the statement. That exceeded the median estimate of 4 billion ringgit, according to a Bloomberg poll of 16 analysts.

Power Sales

Profit was also boosted by improved electricity sales and a currency gain, Tenaga said. A stronger ringgit against the yen resulted in a full-year translation gain of 93 million ringgit, compared with a loss of 334.6 million ringgit a year earlier, it said.

Tenaga’s shares declined 0.1 percent to close at 6.95 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday before the earnings release. They have climbed 17.8 percent this year, outpacing a 9.3 percent gain in the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index.

Fourth-quarter operating expenses fell 12 percent from a year earlier to 9.33 billion ringgit, as coal costs dropped, Azman said. Tenaga paid an average $92.2 per metric ton for its coal during the period, Moggie said.

The year ahead will be “challenging,” Tenaga said in its statement. “Volatility in the global economy, especially in Europe and the U.S., coupled with the slowdown in the China economy could have an impact on growth and electricity demand,” it said. “Uncertainties in fuel pricing may affect Tenaga’s performance.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur at rmanirajan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Barry Porter in Kuala Lumpur at bporter10@bloomberg.net; Jason Rogers in Singapore at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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