CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/26/13 -- ATCO Ltd. (TSX: ACO.X) (TSX: ACO.Y)
ATCO today reported higher Adjusted Earnings in the first quarter of 2013 driven by continued strong contributions from ATCO Structures & Logistics' worldwide activities and continued investment in Alberta's utility infrastructure.
Adjusted Earnings were $120 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to $115 million in the same period of 2012. Earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares were $117 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to $119 million in the same period of 2012. Adjusted Earnings will differ from earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares because of the timing of recoveries from or refunds to customers of amounts that are deferred by the Utilities for regulatory purposes; however, over time there is no difference.
ATCO Structures & Logistics' strong performance in modular structures operations continued in the first quarter of 2013 due to construction of BHP Billiton's Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan and higher fleet sales in North America, offset by reduced earnings from the three large liquefied natural gas projects in Australia that were under construction at this time last year and are now substantially complete.
Growth in the rate base continues to have a positive impact on ATCO Electric. The Hanna Region Transmission Development Project, which will provide major transmission reinforcement in southeast Alberta, is nearing completion, and is expected to be in-service by the end of the second quarter of 2013. Construction commenced on the Eastern Alberta Transmission Line following receipt of project approval in late 2012. The project will provide additional transmission capacity to Alberta's existing electricity transmission system. Together, ATCO Electric, ATCO Gas, and ATCO Pipelines invested $511 million in utility infrastructure in the first quarter of 2013 to support Alberta growth.
Adjusted Earnings for the quarter were partially offset by lower realized prices on short-term forward power sales contracts for ATCO Power's Alberta generating plants and an unfavourable arbitration decision that reduced earnings for the Sheerness plant.
-- ATCO declared a second quarter dividend for 2013 of 37.5 cents per Class I Non-Voting and Class II Voting Share. ATCO's annual dividend per share has increased for 20 consecutive years.-- ATCO's subsidiary, Canadian Utilities Limited, issued $175 million of 4.5% Cumulative Redeemable Second Preferred shares at a price of $25.00 per share.-- ATCO Ltd. announced on February 21, 2013, that it will ask its share owners at the May 16, 2013, annual and special meeting to approve a special resolution to increase the number of Class I Non-Voting Shares that it is authorized to issue. If the share owners approve this special resolution, ATCO intends to split its Class I Non- Voting Shares and Class II Voting Shares on a two-for-one basis by way of a share dividend in 2013.
FINANCIAL SUMMARY AND RECONCILIATION OF ADJUSTED EARNINGS