NZX-listed investor Infratil reported a strong lift in earnings today with its data centre and telecommunications investments among the standouts.
Infratil also provided positive guidance for 2024, telling investors "strong thematic tailwinds" continued to drive investment across its portfolio.
Infratil recorded a net parent surplus from continuing operations of $643.1 million for the year ended 31 March, driven by significant growth in earnings from its associates and the gains recognised on the sale of the Trustpower retail business and the sale of One New Zealand’s passive tower assets.
Proportionate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDAF) was $531.5 million, up 11.9 per cent from the $474.9 million reported for the same period last year.
“The last year has been extremely active across our portfolio," CEO Jason Boyes said
One New Zealand completed its rebrand from Vodafone NZ and also completed the sale of its passive mobile tower infrastructure to a consortium including Infratil, leading to the establishment of Fortysouth.
"CDC Data Centres delivered an additional 104MW of data centre capacity across in Canberra, Sydney and Auckland, while Manawa Energy completed the sale of the Trustpower mass market retail business,” Boyes said.
Management of Infratil's portfolio companies remained focused and delivered impressive financial and operational results, Boyes added.
“CDC saw a significant expansion of capacity to meet new and existing customer demand, substantial capital deployment to bring this capacity online and a continuation of strong financial growth, this year delivering 33 per cent EBITDAF growth.
"Expansion included two new Auckland campuses in Silverdale and Hobsonville, which are the largest and most secure data centres of their type in New Zealand."
One New Zealand delivered a strong annual result with EBITDAF of $527.8 million, and momentum that would see further growth in 2024, he said.
Other investments, such as US-based Longroad Energy, also delivered.
“By any measure it was a stand-out period for Longroad Energy, starting with the announcement of a US$500 million capital raise and introduction of new co-investor MEAG," Boyes said.
The transaction, which closed prior to the announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act, highlighted the level of value that Longroad had created for shareholders, he said.
Boyes said Infratil retained significant liquidity to support further internal and external investment opportunities.
Infratil had $1.4 billion of available growth capacity including significant undrawn corporate facilities and almost $600 million of cash on hand. At 31 March, gearing was also just 9.8 per cent, significantly below a target range of 30 per cent.
2024 proportionate EBITDAF guidance range was set at $570 million to $610 million, up 11 per cent reflecting momentum building across the company's portfolio.