Origin Energy Limited has announced a Statutory Profit of $794 million for the half year ended 31 December 2011, an increase of $930 million when compared with the $136 million loss reported in the prior corresponding half year.


The Statutory Profit included a higher Underlying Profit, a gain on dilution relating to Australia Pacific LNG, an increase in the fair value of financial instruments, lower impairment of assets and lower transition and transaction costs.


Underlying Profit for the half increased 61 per cent or $185 million to $489 million, when compared with the prior corresponding half year. The acquired NSW energy businesses made a significant contribution to the increase in Underlying Profit, which also benefited from lower exploration expense and higher commodity prices in the Exploration and Production segment.


Underlying EBITDA increased 41 per cent for the half year to $1.16 billion.


Origin Chairman, Mr Kevin McCann said, "During the half year, Origin made substantial progress on the integration of the acquired NSW energy businesses into our Energy Markets business and achieved major milestones in the development of the Australia Pacific LNG project.


"The benefits of the acquisition of the NSW energy businesses have resulted in strong increases in Underlying EBITDA and Underlying Profit for the half year.


"The taking of a final investment decision (FID) on the first phase of the Australia Pacific LNG project was another significant milestone for Origin, and we expect this project to deliver substantial value to shareholders over time.


"In addition, Origin has undertaken a number of funding initiatives during the period and as a result is well placed to fund its share of the first phase of the Australia Pacific LNG project and other committed projects.


"The Board has declared an interim fully franked dividend of 25 cents per share, which represents 55 per cent of Underlying Profit," Mr McCann said.