CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/13 -- Canadian Utilities Limited (TSX: CU, CU.X)
Earnings attributable to equity owners were $561 million ($4.12 per share) for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $496 million ($3.65 per share) in 2011. Adjusted Earnings were $517 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $471 million in 2011.
Fourth quarter earnings were $144 million ($1.06 per share) compared to $156 million ($1.14 per share) in the same period in 2011. Fourth quarter Adjusted Earnings were $141 million and $109 million for the same period in 2011.
The company's strong performance in 2012 was led by ATCO Electric's construction of 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.
-- Canadian Utilities declared a first quarter dividend for 2013 of 48.5 cents per Class A non-voting and Class B common share, a 10% increase over the 44.25 cents paid in each of the previous four quarters. Canadian Utilities' annual dividend per share has increased for 41 consecutive years.-- CU Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Utilities, issued $200 million of 3.857% Debentures maturing on November 14, 2052.-- 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 Canadian Utilities Limited by its Board of Directors, replacing Ronald D. Southern. As Chairman Emeritus & Founder, ATCO Group, Mr. Southern continues to serve as a Director of Canadian Utilities Limited.
FINANCIAL SUMMARY AND RECONCILIATION OF ADJUSTED EARNINGS