Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. is listed for trading in United States
dollars on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "CUP.U".
GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Caribbean Utilities
Company, Ltd. ("CUC" or "the Company") announced today its unaudited results
for the first quarter ended July 31, 2007 (all figures in United States
"We experienced strong growth in demand for electricity in the first
quarter of fiscal 2008 as the Cayman Islands economy expanded and the
commercial and residential construction continued at a healthy pace," remarked
Richard Hew, CUC President and Chief Executive Officer.
Net earnings for the three months ended July 31, 2007 declined slightly
to $7.8 million from $8.1 million for the same period last year. Earnings on
Class A Ordinary Shares for the quarter were $7.2 million, or $0.2859 per
Class A Ordinary Share, compared to $7.7 million, or $0.3034 per Class A
Ordinary Share, for first quarter fiscal 2007. The 3% decline in net earnings
was due to increased depreciation, interest and maintenance expenses partially
offset by 8% kiloWatt-hour ("kWh") sales growth. First quarter 2007 saw delays
in the Company's scheduled maintenance program, which resulted in lower than
usual expenses for that period. The $0.5 million quarter-over quarter increase
in maintenance expenses is reflective of a return to normal maintenance
Operating revenues for the first quarter were $43.4 million, a 5%
increase over $41.3 million for the same period last year. This $2.1 million
increase was driven by strong kWh sales growth and an 8% increase in Cost
Recovery Surcharge revenues. Fuel factor revenues for the period were
comparable to last year. Total electricity sales for the quarter increased 8%
to 141.8 million kWh from 131 million kWh for the same period last year.
Residential electricity sales increased 8% and commercial electricity sales
increased 9% compared to first quarter fiscal 2007. Total customers as at
July 31, 2007 were 23,087, an increase of 7% over last year. Total operating
expenses increased 7% to $33.7 million and were primarily driven by higher
production levels and maintenance expenses.
"Demand peaked in July at 91.7 MW, a 9% increase over the same period
last year, but was reliably met by our 136.6 MW of installed generating
capacity," said Mr. Hew. "Our new 16 megaWatt MAN Diesel generating unit
completed commissioning procedures in June and was accepted by CUC on time and
on budget. The new generating unit is a welcomed addition to bolster capacity
with improved fuel efficiency and emissions performance. Our customers
experienced an Average System Availability Index ("ASAI") for the quarter of
99.94%, ahead of our target of 99.93%, as the increased generating capacity
and transmission and distribution maintenance activities had a positive effect
on the number of customer outages."
Licence negotiations with the Cayman Islands Government ("Government")
continue, and CUC met with Cabinet in May 2007 and submitted a new proposal to
Government at its request in mid-June. The Company has since been actively
engaged in discussions with Government based on the new proposal. The current
Licence remains in full force and effect until January 2011 or until replaced
by a new Licence by mutual consent.
CUC also announced today that it has entered a five-year primary diesel
fuel supply contract with ESSO Standard Oil S.A. ("Esso") following completion
of a competitive tender process. Esso, as CUC's primary supplier, shall
provide approximately 80% of the fuel required to operate the Company's North
CUC has also entered five-year supply contracts with Texaco Caribbean
Inc. ("Texaco") and Cayman PetroServices Ltd. ("Cayman Petro") following
completion of a competitive tender process. Texaco will provide the Company
with a secondary supply of diesel fuel, while Cayman Petro will supply 100% of
the lubricating oil required to operate the North Sound Plant.
CUC's First Quarter Report for the period ended July 31, 2007 is attached
to this release and incorporated by reference and can be accessed by clicking
the link below:
The Management's Discussion and Analysis section of this report contains
a detailed discussion of CUC's unaudited first quarter financial results, the
Cayman Islands economy, liquidity and capital resources, capital expenditures
and the business risks facing the Company. The release and First Quarter
Report can be accessed at www.cuc-cayman.com (Investor Relations/Press
Releases) and at www.sedar.com.
CUC is the sole provider of electricity to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
and operates under a 25-year exclusive Licence with the Government of the
Cayman Islands, which expires in January 2011. Further information is
available at www.cuc-cayman.com.
Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. ("CUC" or "the Company"), on occasion,
includes forward-looking statements in its media releases, Canadian securities
regulatory authorities filings, shareholder reports and other communications.
Forward-looking statements are based on underlying assumptions by their very
nature and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause
actual results to vary from plans, targets and estimates. Such risks and
uncertainties include but are not limited to general economic, market and
business conditions, regulatory developments and weather conditions. CUC
cautions readers that actual results may vary significantly from those
expected should certain risks or uncertainties materialize or should
underlying assumptions prove incorrect. The Company disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For further information:
For further information: Letitia Lawrence, Vice President Finance and
Chief Financial Officer, Phone: (345) 914-1124, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org