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Back to Press Releases 07 March 2024

ESB Group announces 2023 Annual Results

ESB has today published its Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Key Financial Highlights:

  • Profit after tax of €868m.
  • Record capital investment of €1.7bn in critical energy infrastructure.
  • A dividend of €220m is proposed.
  • €76m paid to Irish State under the Government’s scheme to cap the revenue of certain electricity generators
  • €2.7 bn contribution to the Irish economy in 2023 in the form of payroll, taxes, dividends and purchases from domestic suppliers.
  • Continued financial strength required for sustained capital investment – forecasted at over €11 bn in the next five years – supporting National Development and Climate Action Plans
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from ESB’s electricity generation fell by almost 30% on 2022 levels, with carbon intensity reducing by over 11%

Commenting on these results, Paul Stapleton, ESB’s Chief Financial Officer said: “While the extraordinary volatility experienced in global energy markets in 2022 eased in 2023, wholesale prices were still unpredictable and significantly higher than the levels seen prior to the energy crisis. These market conditions continued to influence ESB’s financial performance in 2023. While Electric Ireland has decreased prices in recent months, ESB is very mindful that high energy prices continue to pose challenges for the customers we serve.”

“ESB has reported a strong financial performance for the Group in 2023. This underpins a second consecutive year of record levels of capital investment by ESB in energy infrastructure. This investment is critical for the economy and for Ireland’s transition to a net zero energy system. The funding of our capital expenditure programme – forecasted at over €11 bn over the next five years – will require continued strong financial performance and further profit growth.”

Financial Summary:

Capital expenditure by ESB in 2023 increased by €334m to €1,729m (2022: €1,395m) bringing to €6.7bn the total capital investment over the past five years.

Profit after tax increased by €219m to €868m (2022: €649m before exceptional items), while Operating profit (before interest and tax) increased by €274m to €1,121m (2022: €847m).  The growth in Group profits reflects increased earnings from regulated networks businesses and a growing contribution from our business activities in Great Britain which now account for 23% of Group profits.

The Group contributed over €2.7bn to the Irish economy during the year in the form of payroll, taxes, dividends and purchases from domestic suppliers. 

Journey to Net Zero:

ESB continued to make progress towards Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040 - ESB’s carbon emissions from electricity generation reduced by almost 30% in 2023 compared with the previous year. In addition, the carbon intensity of electricity generation (at 370 gCO2/kWh) reduced by more than 11% on 2022 levels and is nearly half that of 2005. 

Capital Investment:

ESB’s record level of capital expenditure in 2023 at €1.7bn represents a 24% increase on 2022. Approximately 70% of this capital expenditure relates to investment in electricity network infrastructure in line with agreed regulatory programmes. This investment will enable economic growth, enhance network resilience and help to progress Government Climate Action targets. Over €400m of this capital expenditure was on electricity generation projects, growing ESB’s renewable generation base and enhancing system flexibility and security of supply.

Dividend and other contributions:

ESB is recommending a dividend of €220m, bringing dividends to over €1.4bn over the last 10 years.  This is consistent with our policy of paying dividends equivalent to 40% of profits over time.   In addition, in January 2024, ESB paid €76m to the Irish State under the Irish Government’s scheme to cap the market revenues of certain electricity generators from December 2022 to June 2023. This amount was provided for in the financial statements as at 31 December 2023.


The level of profit earned in 2023 is a considerable increase on previous years. However, this level of profitability is required given the scale of capital investment being undertaken and the scale of ESB’s borrowings at over €7.7bn. During 2023, ESB raised over €1.3bn in additional bonds. Good investor appetite reflected strong investor support for ESB’s strategy and confidence in ESB’s underlying financial position. Sustaining profitability, along with further borrowings, will be needed to enable the scale of investment necessary to deliver a resilient net zero energy system.

Business Unit Performance: 

ESB Networks invested €992 million in the electricity network, in line with the PR5 Price Review (set by CRU) and its Networks for Net Zero Strategy launched in January 2023. This will enable the delivery of the Government’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) and support the decarbonisation of the electricity system by 2040. ESB Networks’ operating profit for 2023 is up €152m on 2022 to €359m due primarily to higher regulated income which reflects growing investment in the network.

Generation and Trading (GT) made an operating profit of €730m, with almost 40 percent coming from GB operations. This is €44m down on 2022 mainly due to the Irish Government’s scheme to cap market revenues, increased headcount and increased business development costs (including in relation to hydrogen and renewables). GT continued to develop its renewable portfolio both in Ireland and GB notably through continued investment in onshore and offshore wind projects and solar projects. The GT business also contributed strongly to maintaining security of electricity supply in Ireland throughout 2023 by progressing the delivery of flexible generation and battery projects and by facilitating emergency generation capacity under arrangements with EirGrid.   

Customer Solutions’ operating loss of €12m compared to a loss of €109m in 2022. This movement was substantially driven by improved performance in So Energy (GB). After price reductions during the year, Electric Ireland’s profitability was lower than 2022.  Since winter 2020, Electric Ireland has committed over €60m to support customers and the company pledges never to disconnect an engaging customer.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks’ (NIE Networks) continued to deliver on its commitments to customers in 2023 with a further investment of €185m directly in network infrastructure (of a total capital expenditure of €249 million). Operating profit at €78m is €14m higher than 2022.

ESB’s 2023 Financial Statements are available here:


About ESB:

ESB was established in 1927 as a statutory body under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927. With a holding of 97%, ESB is majority owned by the Irish Government. The remaining 3% is held by the trustees of an Employee Share Ownership Plan. As a strong, diversified utility, ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is a leading Irish utility with a regulated asset base of approximately €13.2bn (comprising ESB Networks €10.6bn and NIE Networks €2.6bn), a 27% share of generation in the all-island market and supply businesses supplying electricity and gas to over two million customer accounts throughout the island of Ireland and Great Britain. During the year ended 31 December 2023, ESB Group employed an average of almost 9,000 people.