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Australia's AGL Energy profit sinks on generator outage, lower prices

Adds details on results, background Aug 19 (Reuters) - Australia's top power producer AGL Energy AGL.AX said on Friday its annual profit more than halved due to lower wholesale electricity prices and an outage at its Victoria station. AGL in May scrapped a plan to split its coal generation and retail businesses under pressure from top shareholder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who wants the country's biggest carbon emitter to accelerate the closure of its coal plants. The company recorded a one-time charge of A$125 million ($86.44 million) for the demerger in its results. The firm will present its new strategy and an earnings forecast for the year in September amid efforts to bolster a business battered by power plant outages and government pressure to cut retail prices. In April, the company suffered an outage at a generator in unit 2 of its Loy Yang A power station in Victoria. The company had estimated the disruption would cost A$60 million pre-tax. Underlying profit after tax attributable was A$225 million for the year ended June 30, compared with A$537 million a year ago. Analysts had expected a figure of A$234.4 million, according to Refinitiv data. AGL, which rejected a A$5.4 billion takeover offer earlier this year, declared a final dividend of 10 Australian cents per share, compared with 34 Australian cents a year earlier. ($1 = 1.4461 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Aditya Soni) The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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