The dividend paid by Bord Gáis to the Government has fallen from €33.1m in 2011 to €23.8m for 2012, despite an increase in the company's profits.

A spokesperson said the size of the dividend is set at 30% of the previous year's profit.

In its annual report today, Bord Gáis reported a 29% increase in pre-tax profits of €121m for 2012.

This will mean a Government dividend of €36.3m in 2013.

Its revenue grew by 1% to €1.625 billion in spite of the ''challenging domestic environment and sustained increases in wholesale prices''.

The annual report reveals that the company has agreed nearly 100,000 repayment plans with its customers, while it has installed over 62,000 pay-as-you-go meters to date.

These are free of charge for customers in arrears.

Bord Gáis also said today that it has secured a €90m loan extension from the European Investment Bank, which brings the total EIB support for its wind farm programme up to €245m.

It said the money will be used to support the largest single wind farm construction project in the country, which is in Co Cork.

The company also said that it successfully placed a €500m bond with a five year maturity last November.

''The company's last bond issue was in 2009, and despite the turbulent economic environment in the interim, it has achieved the same credit spread and lower coupon (interest) with the new bond,'' the company said in a statement today.

Bord Gáis generates 15% of the installed wind capacity in Ireland and by the end of last December it had 174MW of wind projects under construction.

Today's annual report shows that former chief executive John Mullins' salary dropped from €278,000 to €250,000 between 2011 and 2012.

The chairman of the company, Rose Hynes, said that Bord Gáis is embarking on a period of ''significant change''.

''Managing the proposed sale of Bord Gáis Energy and the establishment of Irish Water, change programmes of complexity and scale, are significant undertakings in relation to delivering ongoing commercial objectives,'' she added.

The company's acting chief executive John Barry said that the setting up of Irish Water has been the company's major focus over the past year. ''We are about to commence an ambitious national meter rollout programme that will continue over a three year period, creating over 2,000 jobs,'' he added.