AJAX, ON, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Veridian Corporation's Board of Directors
declared record shareholder dividend payments during its first meeting of
2009. Dividends totalling $8.2 million will be paid to the City of Pickering,
the Town of Ajax, the Municipality of Clarington and the City of Belleville.
The payments represent an almost two-fold increase from the $4.2 million in
dividends paid in 2008, and will be distributed in four quarterly instalments
"Veridian's Board of Directors determined that it is the right time to
approve a special distribution of earnings to shareholders," said Glenn
Rainbird, Chair of Veridian's Board of Directors. "Veridian has a very
conservative capital structure. It has the capacity to make these dividend
payments due to its long record of solid financial returns."
The elevated dividend payments approved by the Veridian Board will be in
place only during 2009, after which dividend amounts are projected to return
closer to historic levels.
According to Michael Angemeer, Veridian's President and CEO, the Board of
Directors considered all factors before declaring the dividends. "The
declaration of dividends was made following a detailed review of the
corporation's 2009 business plan," he commented. "Prudent financial management
has allowed the Board to distribute increased returns to shareholders, even
with the prospect of a deteriorating economy and the impact this may have on
Veridian's 2009 earnings."
Angemeer advises that the decision to increase dividend payments will not
impact distribution rates paid by customers, nor will it affect planned
investments in infrastructure. "Veridian's 2009 financial plan provides for
significant new investments in distribution system reliability, including
smart grid technology and customer service support systems," he said. "We will
also be exploring opportunities for new conservation and demand management
initiatives, and local renewable generation projects."
Mayor Jim Abernethy of the Municipality of Clarington observed that the
increased dividend payments are particularly welcome at this time, as senior
levels of government pursue infrastructure spending to stimulate the slumping
economy. "We expect that there will be opportunities for municipalities to
co-fund public investments in local infrastructure," said Mayor Abernethy.
"The additional dividend revenue from Veridian will give us greater
flexibility in pursuing such opportunities to the benefit of our local
Dividend payments to individual shareholders will be proportionate to the
number of Veridian shares held. The City of Pickering will receive $3,362,000,
the Town of Ajax $2,632,200, the Municipality of Clarington $1,115,200 and the
City of Belleville $1,090,600.
Since the time that Veridian was incorporated in 1999, the company has
distributed more than $58 million in dividend and interest payments to its
shareholders. With planned payments for 2009, total distributions to
shareholders during the company's first ten years of business operations will
exceed $71 million.
Through its subsidiary Veridian Connections Inc, Veridian Corporation
safely and reliably delivers electricity to more than 110,000 customers in the
Cities of Pickering and Belleville, the Towns of Ajax, Port Hope and
Gravenhurst, and the communities of Uxbridge, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Orono,
Port Perry, Beaverton, Sunderland and Cannington. The Corporation also owns
Veridian Energy Inc., a Pickering, Ontario based company that provides water
heater rental and fibre optic communications services. The City of Pickering,
the Town of Ajax, the Municipality of Clarington and the City of Belleville
jointly own Veridian Corporation.
For further information:
For further information: George Armstrong, Manager of Regulatory Affairs
and Key Projects, Veridian Connections Inc., (905) 427-9870, extension 2202