Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Electricity firm Haven powers ahead

17:35 19 February 2013

Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson

Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson

Archant

A BUSINESS electricity retail company saw its retail sales soar by 60% last year, as it continues to go for growth.

shares

Ipswich-based Haven Power, which employs 350 staff, was bought three and a half years ago by Drax Group plc, which published its results yesterday.

Drax is moving its main electricity-producing business in phases from coal-fired energy generation to biomass, by converting three of its six units in Yorkshire over the coming few years. The first unit is due to come on stream in April, and the second next year.

Overall, it made profits before tax of £190million, compared to profits of £338m in 2011. Its underlying earnings were £193m, compared to £202m in 2011.

This was in line with expectations, the group said, and the drop was a result of a number of factors including commodity prices, increased operational costs and extensive research and development on its biomass project.

“We say we did well because we delivered in line with expectation,” said Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson. “I’m pleased with the results.”

It had been a “pivotal” year for the company, she added, and it had taken time to work out what was technically possible in terms of converting to biomass and burning it efficiently and reliably.

“We actually raised the funding, finished the technical work and received the mandate from Government for coming from a predominantly coal-fired generator to biomass generator,” she said.

“It’s a very cost-effective renewable and a good complement to a wind strategy.”

Government decided last year it was going to double the support for biomass burnt in what were previously coal-fired electricity stations, she explained.

Meanwhile, Haven has delivered “substantial growth” in 2012, the company said, and is expected to make modest losses up to 2015 as it continues to expand its market share.

Staff numbers had increased significantly and there had been significant investment in systems.

Over the next three years, it is expected to either double or triple the amount of electricity it supplies to customers, said Ms Thompson, who said she was “very pleased” with its performance.

“We think this works well with our biomass strategy because we think there’s a real interest amongst customers to buy renewables,” she said.

She pointed out that last year, Haven Power was ranked number one for customer satisfaction in the small and medium enterprise market by Datamonitor.

Drax has ambitions to make Haven, which is led by Peter Bennell, a very large supplier of energy, she said, adding that Haven had a “very strong and very capable team”.

“Our vision for Drax is to be a bold, customer-oriented power generation and retail business, driven by biomass innovation. We have two key strategic initiatives to enable us to achieve our vision, namely our project to convert Drax Power Station into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generating asset, and our programme for the expansion of our retail business, Haven Power Ltd, through growing our sales to businesses.”

shares

0 comments

Greene King apprentice Tamara-Leigh Kirkham.

Greene King has been named VQ Large Employer of the Year for 2015, in recognition of its support for members of its workforce undertaking vocational qualifications (VQs).

Sizewell A and B

Staff at the redundant Sizewell A nuclear power station will have to wait to find out if their jobs are safe from planned redundancies.

The opening of Precision Marketing's new headquarters in Bury St Edmunds.

An expanding marketing services firm celebrated the official opening of its new head office in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Abby Curtis who is opening Pump and Grind coffee shop in Great Colman Street with Tom Kerridge

The business team behind a new cafe have said they are disappointed they will not able to serve alcohol when opening for the first time on Saturday.

Arlingtons new art exhibition, Liz and Ken Ambler at the launch

Music, art, wine and a great deal more

Steven and Debbie Morgan pictured when they took over The Royal Oak earlier this year

Firefighters were called to a pub last night following a water leak which caused flooding.

Rachel Pearlman, Zoe Bradbury, Jack Northcott and Jordan Keeble of Ginger Nut Media team  at the OXO Tower in London, after being awarded as the best level of support during Advanced Apprenticeships.

A digital advertising firm is celebrating after scooping an award for its supportive training regime.

Royal Mail profits up 6% to £740m

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Royal Mail has seen a rise in annual profits.

Royal Mail today reported a rise in underlying annual profits as a squeeze on costs helped offset a lower than expected performance from its parcel business.

Bury Council Building Angel Hill.

The new chairman of Bury Town Council has said he intends to make the authority relevant after claiming it has done “almost nothing” for the last few years.

Tesco  Group Chief Executive Dave Lewis

Tesco paid £4.1 million to new boss Dave Lewis in his first six months after he was brought in from consumer goods group Unilever to turn around the embattled supermarket.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages