First quarter 2009: Hydro-Québec posts income from continuing operations of $1,407 million, an increase of $74 million over 2008



    MONTREAL, May 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Income from continuing operations totaled
$1,407 million for the first three months of the year, for an increase of $74
million compared to first quarter 2008. Net electricity exports by
Hydro-Québec Production decreased by $84 million on account of a reduction in
volume related to unavailability of generating capacity for export because of
colder weather in Québec. The depreciation of the Canadian dollar, the
positive effect of hedging aluminum prices and the decrease in financial
expenses more than offset the drop in net exports.
    With regard to discontinued operations, a non-recurring gain of $117
million related to the price adjustment provided for in the contract for the
sale of the company's interest in Transelec, in Chile, had been recognized in
the first quarter of 2008, which is why net income for the first quarter, at
$1,407 million, is down $43 million from 2008.
    "The first quarter results are very satisfactory given the current
economic context. As part of its risk management process, the company was able
to take the necessary steps to minimize the impact of unfavorable market
conditions" said Lise Croteau, Vice President - Accounting and Control at
Hydro-Québec.

    Segmented results

    Hydro-Québec Production posted net income of $868 million, compared to
$862 million in 2008. Net electricity exports decreased by $84 million on
account of a 1.4-TWh reduction in volume, mitigated by the depreciation of the
Canadian dollar. This volume reduction led to a $13-million decrease in
transmission capacity reservation expenses. In Québec, the depreciation of the
Canadian dollar and the positive effect of hedging aluminum prices resulted in
a $41-million increase in income. Financial expenses decreased by $22 million.
    Hydro-Québec TransEnergie's net income amounted to $128 million for the
first quarter, compared to $119 million for the same period in 2008. Revenue
from point-to-point transmission services decreased by $13 million, reflecting
the reduction in the volume of exports by Hydro-Québec Production. However,
financial expenses decreased by $22 million.
    Hydro-Québec Distribution recorded net income of $417 million, compared
to $353 million in 2008. The $135-million increase in revenue from electricity
sales was mitigated by a $59-million increase in transmission costs and net
electricity purchases because of very cold weather in January. The sales
revenue increase was further mitigated by the $23-million increase in the
amortization expense for regulatory assets related to the retirement of
property, plant and equipment. Financial expenses decreased by $14 million.
    The volume of activity of Hydro-Québec Equipement and Société d'énergie
de la Baie James (SEBJ) totaled $395 million, compared to $345 million in
2008. Major projects underway include the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert
hydroelectric development and the 1250-MW interconnection with Ontario.

    Investments

    In first quarter 2009, Hydro-Québec invested $689 million, compared to
$641 million in the same period of 2008. Most of this amount went to the
growth and development projects of Hydro-Québec Production, Hydro-Québec
TransEnergie and Hydro-Québec Distribution as well as to the continued
implementation of the Energy Efficiency Plan.

    Financing

    In January 2009, two financings maturing on February 15, 2050, raised
$1.0 billion. These financings were completed on the Canadian market at an
average rate of 4.95%.




For further information:

For further information: Hydro-Québec - Media and Emergency
Communication Team, Flavie Côté, Press Officer, (514) 289-2220,
Cote.Flavie@hydro.qc.ca; Press room: http://www.hydroquebec.com/media


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