AGL is back in the black

Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

AGL Energy is back in profit.

And shareholders will be getting a higher dividend payout, helped by better wholesale prices for electricity.

The energy group posted an after tax profit of $325 million for the six months to December, compared to a full year loss of $408 million in 2016.

The half year result is $774 million better than the same six months the year before, mainly because of strength in the wholesale electricity market and cost cutting.

AGL says it now expects underlying profit after tax for the full year to be within the upper half of its guidance range of $720 million to $800 million.

CEO Andy Vesey says the impact of rising wholesale prices is expected to continue.

“Our guidance continues to take into account the headwinds in our gas portfolio that we have previously flagged,” he says.

The company declared an interim dividend of 41 cents a share, 80% franked, an increase of 9 cents a share.

The half year to December in detail:

Source: AGL

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