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NZ Windfarms looks to maiden dividend

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/11/2016 Pattrick Smellie

The board of struggling electricity producer New Zealand Windfarms is exploring ways to pay a maiden interim dividend in the current financial year, the new chairman Rodger Kerr-Newell told shareholders at the annual meeting on Tuesday.

The company reported a $3.9 million loss in the last financial year, partly because of lower wholesale electricity prices, although the company was now getting on top of the equipment failure and maintenance problems it had been experiencing with its two-bladed turbines, produced by Christchurch-based Windflow Technology and for which NZWF is the only customer of scale.

The Bank of New Zealand required the company hold $6.5m in cash on hand relating to guarantees to network owner Powerco, with which NZWF has two lease agreements it has tried to restructure without success.

The company was "exploring alternative options" for providing the Powerco guarantee and "the directors are considering the possibility of declaring an interim dividend in the 2017 fiscal year".

Kerr-Newell he had been "disappointed on my board election as chairman in June this year to find no active process in place to move us from being a "price taker" with all that implies to shareholder value, to an entity which actively manages its revenue".

"Without performance targets and effective governance, we won't know where we are, where we are going and when we arrive. Be clear shareholders both these things will change," he said. "In the next four months, the directors will establish a strategic direction and will install a performance management system to ensure we are heading in the right direction. We must take control of our future. We must maximise shareholders value."

NZWF's shares have fallen 24 per cent over the course of this year, although they rose 1.4 per cent to 7.1 cents on Tuesday.

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