Uganda’s leading power distributor, Umeme Ltd recorded Shs61bn net profit in the first six months of 2018 compared to Shs47.51bn ‘surprise’ loss recorded over the same period in 2017.
Umeme has been one of the most consistent profitable companies in Uganda until it made a one-off loss in 2017.
According to Umeme’s half year results released Monday, the company directors approved an interim dividend of Shs12.7 per share. This will be paid in January 2019, the company said.
The power distributor adds that in the period under review, it added 82,373 new customers on the grid, increasing the total customer base to 1,207,664.
“Customers on the prepaid metering increased to 76.3% of the customer base. Prepaid revenue from these customers represents 24 per cent of the total revenue,” Umeme said in a statement.
The company says it is converting all installations in government ministries, departments and agencies as directed by the Ministry of Finance. This process is supposed to end by December.
“As of 30th June 2018, 327 out of 469 government installations accounts were on pre-paid metering,” UMEME said.
Additionally, electricity sales increased by 8.6% in the period under review.
The growth in sales, Umeme said was largely driven by industrial demand which grew by 11.3%.
The industrial demand growth, according to the company was driven by addition of 46 new industrial customers and increased electricity utilization within the existing industries.
Electricity demand, Umeme said increased as “peak demand reached 596MW, an increase of 5.9 from the first half of 2017.”
In the first half of the year, UMEME further revealed that the country’s installed electricity capacity grew to 949MWs, following commissioning of Nyamwamba hydropower project. The 9.2MWs project supplies power to Kilembe Cooper Mines, Kasese.
The company also notes that it invested 113.3bn shillings in the 6 months.
The investments were majorly in network expansion, energy loss reduction projects and additional customer connections.
It should be noted that Umeme’s ‘badly negotiated’ twenty- year concession ends in 2025, but the company is eager to renew it.