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Ipswich-based Haven Power achieves its first annual profit

PUBLISHED: 12:10 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:10 27 February 2018

The Ipswich headquarters of Haven Power, part of the Drax group.

The Ipswich headquarters of Haven Power, part of the Drax group.

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Haven Power, the Ipswich-based “challenger” supplier of energy to the industrial and commercial sectors, has reported its first annual profit.

Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Drax Retail.
Photo: VisMedia Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Drax Retail. Photo: VisMedia

The milestone achievement for Haven helped parent group Drax post a 63.5% increase in earnings for the year to Decemer 31 to £228.9m, up from £140.0m in 2016.

Group revenue was 24.9% higher at £3.685bn, against £2.949bn the previous year, helped by the acquisition in February 2017 of Opus Energy, another challenger retailer, with a focus on the SME market.

Drax Retail, which now combines Haven and Opus in a single business unit, achieved revenues of £1.999bn, up from £1.326bn for Haven alone in 2016, and earnings of £29.4m compared with a deficit of £4.3m a year earlier.

Drax said that Opus had made a first-time contribution in line with expectations while Haven had delivered a “strong” performance, with improved margins taking it beyond the breakeven target it achieved during the first half.

Haven Power, established in Ipswich in 2006 and acquired by Drax in 2009, now employs around 450 people at offices on Ransomes Europark and in the town centre.

Helped by the acquisition of Opus, along with continued growth for Haven, Drax Retail now has more than 375,000 customer meters, making it the fifth largest supplier of power to businesses the UK.

Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Drax Retail, said Haven’s result for 2017 was one of which the entire team in Ipswich could be proud and he was grateful for their efforts.

Elsewhere within Drax, the group’s Power Generation business grew its earnings by 36.7%, from £173.8m to £237.5m, with an improved financial contribution from biomass which, despite the group’s coal-fired heritage, now accounts for 65% of its output.

And the group’s Pellet Production business matched the retail division’s move into the black, with earnings of £5.5m against a £6.3m deficit in 2016.

At the bottom line, however, Drax recorded a statutory pre-tax loss of £183.2, against a profit of £197.1m in 2016, although this was largely driven by unrealised losses on foreign currency hedging.

Group chief executive Will Gardiner said: “The UK is undergoing an energy revolution, starting with a significant reduction in carbon emissions, and to support that we are helping to change the way energy is generated, supplied and used.”

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