Infratil posts loss for second year running

The New Zealand-based infrastructure investor has reported a loss for the second consecutive year, on the back of multiple asset writedowns. Asset sales could now result to halt the tide of losses.

New Zealand-headquartered infrastructure investor Infratil has reported a full year net loss for the second consecutive year. The company posted a net loss of NZ$191 million (€84 million; $118 million) for the year ending March 31 2009. Last year it reported a loss of just under NZ$2 million.

Infratil's operating interest, or its earnings after net interest, depreciation and amortisation, fell to NZ$77.2 million, down from NZ$87.8 million the previous year.

The widening loss is largely due to a NZ$179 million non-cash writedown associated with a number of the firm's listed investments. Infratil's assets include New Zealand power company TrustPower, Infratil Energy Australia and Infratil Airports Europe, which includes Lubeck City and Kent International airports. It also owns stakes in Wellington and Auckland airports.

The company warned that if some its underperforming businesses and investments continue to underperform, it would extract the capital for better use elsewhere. However, Infratil said that despite the global downturn and disappointing results, its core business continues to perform well.

It added that while the management's priority is capital preservation and performance, there could exist further opportunities to invest that could be exploited without unduly committing scarce capital in the short term. Infratil's dividend is to remain unchanged at 3.75 cents a share. Infratil's shares were down 3 percent to NZ$1.65 on the back of the news.