Australian power giant Origin Energy has revealed a 93 per cent collapse in full-year profit as the coronavirus pandemic hammers energy prices and increases the risk of bad debts from distressed customers unable to pay their bills.
Origin on Thursday said its profit had fallen from $1.21 billion to $83 million in the 2020 financial year largely due to the severity of the impact of COVID-19. The decline was not as sharp as some market analysts had been expecting, while Origin’s underlying profit, stripping out one-off costs, was largely unchanged from the previous year at $1.02 billion.
Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said it had been a year of significant challenges including bushfires, drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic, but had improved its underlying business performance across the year driving growth in free cash flow.
“Throughout, our focus has been on maintaining reliable energy supply, keeping our people safe, supporting our customers who have been financially impacted, as well as supporting the broader community,” he said.