ESB group, the largest energy company in Ireland, announced they earned €390 million in profit after exceptional items were included. ESB attributes the volatility within global commodity markets for this figure, which is over three times the amount of profit compared to the same period in 2021.
The exceptional items included a fair value non-cash gain on fuel commodities of €121.6 million ー an increase on the price of fuel held by the company.
However, the company saw a decrease in operational profit of €6 million. The electricity company announced they received €357 million in operating profits during the first six months of this year.
The company claims changes placed on regulated network tariffs, higher wholesale energy prices in the UK and foreign exchange changes lead to the decrease. The company saw a €1.2 billion increase in revenue.
Taoiseach Míchael Martin said, after the report was released, that a “much higher” dividend from the ESB profits will be received by the government. Táinsite Leo Varadkar agreed with the Taoiseach adding “…[the government] would use that money to help bring down costs for families and businesses.”
In response to the €390 million figure, the opposition party, Sinn Féin, called on the government to intervene. TD Darren O’Rourke, the party’s spokesperson on Climate Action, accused leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, of “sitting on his hands” and recalled the Minister opposed proposals to “decouple” gas from energy prices last year.
O’Rourke wrote on Friday that, ““Businesses are on the brink of closure and households are living in fear of the next bill, so people will be understandably livid to hear the ESB is making €2m profit per day, while also hiking prices at Electric Ireland.
O’Rouke added, “The government has a number of options to tackle the underlying issues contributing to the out-of-control electricity costs, but so far they have done nothing.”
The Central Statistics Office, CSO, reported a 47% increase in wholesale prices between June and August this year. According to Geraldine Heavey, ESB’s Chief Financial Officer, “Volatility and high wholesale market prices continue to be a feature of energy markets in 2022.”.
Domestic prices for energy have been rising as well, with most households seeing an increase in prices earlier this month. Including Electric Ireland, which ESB are the parent company of, who will be expecting a 26.7% increase in prices for their customers next month.