ESB made post-tax profit of €868 million in 2023 according to its latest financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023 which it published today (Thursday March 7).

The results also show record capital investment of €1.7 billion in critical energy infrastructure and a dividend of €220 million is proposed by the company.

The financial statements also reveal that €76 million was paid to Irish state under the government’s scheme to cap the revenue of certain electricity generators.

ESB outlined that continued financial strength will be required for sustained capital investment – forecasted at over €11 billion in the next five years – supporting National Development and Climate Action Plans.

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 transition to a net zero energy system.”

Environmental sustainability at ESB

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ESB’s electricity generation fell by almost 30% on 2022 levels, with carbon intensity reducing by over 11% according to the financial report.

ESB said that it 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.

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, according to the company.

Expenditure and profit

Capital expenditure by ESB in 2023 increased by €334 million to €1,73 billion (2022: €1.4 billion) bringing to €6.7 billion the total capital investment over the past five years.

Approximately 70% of capital expenditure relates to investment in electricity network infrastructure in line with agreed regulatory programmes.

Over €400 million of this capital expenditure was on electricity generation projects, growing ESB’s renewable generation base and enhancing system flexibility and security of supply.

Profit after tax increased by €219 million to €868 million (2022: €649 million before exceptional items), while operating profit (before interest and tax) increased by €274 million to €1.12 billion (2022: €847 million). 

According to the company, the growth in group profits reflects increased earnings from regulated networks businesses and a growing contribution from its business activities in Great Britain which now account for 23% of group profits.

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

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.

ESB Networks’ operating profit for 2023 is up €152 million on 2022 to €359 million due primarily to higher regulated income which reflects growing investment in the network, according to the company.

Generation and Trading (GT) made an operating profit of €730 million, with almost 40% coming from GB operations. This is €44 million 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).

Customer Solutions’ operating loss of €12 million compared to a loss of €109 million 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 €60 million to support customers, the statement outlined.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks’ (NIE Networks) had a further investment of €185 million directly in network infrastructure (of a total capital expenditure of €249 million).

Operating profit at €78 million is €14 million higher than 2022.


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.

ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using its networks to carry fibre for telecommunications.

It has a regulated asset base of approximately €13.2 billion (comprising ESB Networks €10.6 billion and NIE Networks €2.6 billion), 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 December 31, 2023, ESB Group employed an average of almost 9,000 people.