CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/13 -- - ATCO Ltd. (TSX: ACO.X, ACO.Y)
ATCO today reported record earnings for 2012 led by strong contributions from ATCO Structures & Logistics' worldwide activities.
Earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares were $375 million ($6.51 per share) for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $327 million ($5.65 per share) in 2011. Adjusted Earnings were $372 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $330 million in 2011.
Fourth quarter earnings were $99 million ($1.71 per share) compared to $102 million ($1.76 per share) in the same period in 2011. Fourth quarter Adjusted Earnings were $102 million and $83 million for the same period in 2011.
ATCO Structures & Logistics' strong performance in 2012 was driven mainly from modular structures operations, as rental activity increased and manufacturing expanded to meet growing demand for workforce housing and site services, space rentals and lodging in the resource rich regions of Australia, Canada, and South America. In particular, Australian operations benefited from the construction of workforce housing for three liquefied natural gas plants, two of which are substantially complete and the third is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
ATCO Electric is building new transmission infrastructure to meet Alberta's long term electricity demand and improve reliability for consumers. ATCO Electric has approximately two dozen transmission infrastructure projects either approved or under construction. In 2012, major industrial customers in northeast Alberta were connected to the province's transmission grid and the electricity system serving that growing region of the province was reinforced. Construction continues on the Hanna Region Transmission Development Project in southeast Alberta with an expected in-service by the end of the second quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter, ATCO Electric received approval to commence construction of the Eastern Alberta Transmission Line, which is expected to be in service in late 2014.
Fourth quarter capital investment of $648 million by ATCO Electric, ATCO Gas and ATCO Pipelines brought the total utility capital investment for the year to $2.1 billion. These capital expenditures added to the rate base upon which the companies earn a regulated return.
ATCO Gas Australia marked its first full year of operations under ATCO ownership, with higher earnings reflecting a favorable decision on its appeal of an earlier decision covering the current Access Arrangement period 2010 - 2014.
Increased earnings in 2012 were partially offset by lower earnings at ATCO Power primarily due to planned maintenance outages at several ATCO Power generating plants and lower earnings from ATCO Energy Solutions' natural gas liquids extraction and gas gathering and processing operations.
-- ATCO declared a first quarter dividend for 2013 of 37.5 cents per Class I Non-Voting and Class II Voting Share, a 15% increase over the 32.75 cents paid in each of the previous four quarters. ATCO's annual dividend per share has increased for 20 consecutive years.-- ATCO's subsidiary, CU Inc., issued $200 million of 3.857% Debentures maturing on November 14, 2052.-- ATCO's subsidiary, Canadian Utilities Limited, issued $200 million of 3.122% Debentures maturing November 9, 2022.-- Effective December 1, 2012, Nancy C. Southern was appointed Chair of ATCO Ltd. by its Board of Directors, replacing Ronald D. Southern. As Founder, ATCO Group, Mr. Southern continues to serve as a Director of ATCO Ltd.