CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/23/13 -- HIGHLIGHTS
-- Strong fleet availability of 91.5 per cent for the quarter - supporting the annual target of 89 to 90 per cent-- Comparable EBITDA(1,2,3) increased to $267 million for the quarter, up $15 million from the same period in 2012 driven by increased production from the generation segment-- Funds From Operations(2,3) ("FFO") increased $3 million to $192 million compared to prior year-- Operations Maintenance and Administration costs ("OM&A") declined $13 million from the same period in 2012-- Energy Trading results delivered $17 million of gross margin in the first quarter-- New Richmond wind farm in Quebec began commercial operation on March 13, 2013, adding 68 MW to TransAlta's renewables portfolio
TransAlta Corporation (TransAlta) (TSX: TA) (NYSE: TAC) today reported a comparable EBITDA increase of $15 million to $267 million compared to the first quarter of 2012 and an increase in funds from operations of $3 million to $192 million compared to the prior year.
"I am pleased to release results today that demonstrate another solid quarter for TransAlta with higher year over year production as well as strong fleet availability which support our annual targets," said Dawn Farrell, President and CEO. "Furthermore, we have been able to offset declines in revenue from low pricing in our Centralia operations with strong performance by our fleet and growth from our Solomon acquisition. Our cost reduction efforts from last year are holding and our teams are focused on growth. The addition of the New Richmond wind farm will be a positive contribution to shareholder value going forward."
Despite delivering a solid operational quarter and consistent EBITDA, comparable earnings(2) decreased year over year largely due to lower comparable tax recoveries in the quarter compared to the same period in 2012 which recorded a substantial recovery from a one-time win.
(1) EBITDA refers to Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
(2) Comparable earnings (loss), comparable earnings (loss) per share, comparable EBITDA, and funds from operations, are not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). Presenting these measures from period to period provides supplemental information to help management and shareholders evaluate earnings' trends in comparison with prior periods' results. Refer to the Non-IFRS Measures section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for further discussion of these items, including, where applicable, reconciliations to net earnings (loss) attributable to common shareholders, operating income (loss), and cash flow from operating activities.
(3) Comparable EBITDA and funds from operations are key supplemental performance measures for TransAlta which provide additional information regarding the company's ability to cover its capital requirements and dividends as well as strengthen its balance sheet and finance growth.
The company recorded a loss of $11 million on reported earnings for the quarter primarily driven by the de-designation of hedges. For these contracts that settled in the first quarter of 2013, the related gain had already been recognized in earnings during the first quarter of 2012, with the cash received in 2013. TransAlta also recorded a one-time loss due to the realization of pension funding obligations associated with the management of the Highvale mine which were previously included in the cost of coal.