Electricity pylons carry power from Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA ENERGY BUSINESS)

Johannesburg - Eskom Holdings said full-year profit surged as revenue increased 11 percent and the South African power utility was able to avert supply cuts, raising sales to neighbouring countries that have shortages.

Profit was R4.6 billion ($311 million) in the year to March 31 from R200 million 12 months earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement handed to reporters in Johannesburg Tuesday.

The previous year’s figure was hit by a fair-value loss on derivatives, which wasn’t repeated in 2016.

While revenue increased to R163.4 billion, electricity-sales volumes fell 0.8 percent, with purchases by South African industrial users, the utility’s biggest customers, contracting 6.2 percent. Sales to neighbouring nations, which are suffering power shortages, climbed 12 percent.

The utility serving the continent’s most industrialised economy has maintained consistent power supply for 11 months. Before that, consumers and factories endured almost-daily cuts that curbed manufacturing at a time when a rout in commodity prices hurt the mining industry of the world’s biggest platinum producer.

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“Generation performance has been stabilised, with continued improvement expected,” Eskom said. “No load-shedding is anticipated,” it said, using a local term for scheduled power cuts.

Power generated by Eskom’s plants fell to the lowest since 2006 last year, the utility said in a fact sheet on its website. Still, revenue has increased every year since then as the national energy regulator allowed the company to raise prices by an average 16 percent annually, or more than double the mean inflation rate of 6.1 percent over the 10-year period.

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Of the R27.1 billion customers owed Eskom on March 31, 40 percent was more than 60 days overdue, it said. About R14.1 billion was current.

The utility has secured about R38.7 billion in funding, or 57 percent of the amount needed for the year through March.

-With assistance from Kevin Crowley.

Bloomberg