Power giant Drax says it enjoyed a “robust” first half to the year and is increasing its dividend despite falling into the red with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Drax reported an adjusted EBITDA of £179m for the first six months of the year, up 30% on 2019.
That included an estimated impact of £44m from the coronavirus pandemic “principally in customers’ SME business”.
Drax hailed a “strong biomass performance in both pellet production and generation”.
The group said its full year adjusted EBITDA would include an estimated £60m impact from Covid-19 and would be in line with market consensus.
And it said its expected full-year dividend would be up 7.5% to 17.1 pence per share “subject to good operational performance and impact of Covid-19 being in line with current expectations”.
Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group said: “With these robust half-year results, Drax is delivering for shareholders with an increased dividend while continuing to support our employees, communities and customers during the Covid-19 crisis.
“As well as generating the flexible, reliable and renewable electricity the UK economy needs, we’re delivering against our strategy to reduce the costs of our sustainable biomass and we’re continuing to make progress pioneering world-leading bioenergy with carbon capture technologies, known as BECCS, to deliver negative emissions and help the UK meet its 2050 net zero carbon target.
“National Grid stated this week that the UK can’t reach net zero by 2050 without negative emissions from bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. BECCS delivers for the environment and also provides an opportunity to create jobs and clean economic growth in the North and around the country.”