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, May 1 /CNW/ - Caribbean Utilities Company,
Ltd. ("CUC" or the "Company") announced today its unaudited results for the
first quarter ended March 31, 2009 (all figures in United States dollars).
This is the first reporting period aligned with the calendar year
following the announcement in August of 2008 that the Company would change its
year end to December 31. Comparisons of the three months ended March 31, 2009
("First Quarter 2009") results are to the three months ended April 30, 2008,
the closest previously reported period in the prior year.
Net earnings for the First Quarter 2009 were $2.4 million, a $2.0
million, or 45% decrease from net earnings of $4.4 million for the three
months ended April 30, 2008. Earnings results for the three months ended April
30, 2008 were impacted by a favourable fuel cost recovery of $2.5 million
during that period. The introduction of a fuel tracker mechanism in the
Company's 2008 Transmission and Distribution Licence has eliminated favourable
or adverse timing differences in fuel cost recovery in the financial reporting
quarters since April 2008. First Quarter 2009 earnings also reflect the
difference in comparative periods with February through April traditionally
having higher average temperatures than January through March.
Earnings per Class A Ordinary Share for the First Quarter 2009 were $2.3
million, or $0.08 per class A Ordinary share, as compared to $4.3 million, or
$0.169 per Class A Ordinary Share, for the three months ended April 30, 2008.
Sales were affected by the cooler than average weather and increased
conservation efforts on the part of consumers. KiloWatt hour sales for the
First Quarter 2009 were 120.1 million when compared to 128.7 million for the
three months ended April 30, 2008, a decline of 7%.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Richard Hew, stated, "New
customer connections were 328 for the quarter bringing total customers to
24,846, a 3% increase since April 30, 2008. In anticipation that factors such
as energy conservation and a declining global economy may have an impact on
our revenues, management has developed flexible plans to ensure that CUC can
respond to changing economic circumstances while continuing to deliver
reliable service to our customers."
During the First Quarter 2009, the Company made capital expenditures of
$9.2 million including $2.3 million on transmission and distribution system
extension and upgrades and $2.8 million on generation system expansion. During
the period, the Electricity Regulatory Authority ("ERA") also approved the
Company's 2009 Capital Expenditure Program ("CIP") totaling $47.7 million and
continued its review of the 2010 - 2013 CIP totaling $198 million.
CUC also announced it has submitted to the ERA its calculations
indicating a base rate increase of 2.4% which, upon verification by the ERA
would be effective June 1, 2009, as permitted by the Rate Cap and Adjustment
Mechanism ("RCAM") set out in CUC's Electricity Transmission and Distribution
Licence. This will be the first increase in base rates that the Company has
implemented in seven years and follows a 3.25% rate reduction in January 2008
as part of the Licence negotiations with the Cayman Islands Government.
"For the past seven years the Company has absorbed the full impact of
inflation in the price of goods and services it employs to generate and
distribute electricity to customers. This is not sustainable and the marginal
increase in base rates will ensure that the Company can continue to build and
operate a system that delivers efficient and reliable service to its customers
in Grand Cayman. CUC's base rates after the increase would remain below 2002
levels." stated Mr. Hew.
Since 2004, CUC has invested over $175 million in infrastructure to meet
customer growth to ensure continued performance and reliability.
CUC's First Quarter 2009 results and related Management's Discussion and
Analysis ("MD&A") for the First Quarter 2009 are attached to this release and
incorporated by reference and can be accessed by clicking the link below:
The MD&A section of this report contains a discussion of CUC's unaudited
First Quarter 2009 results, the Cayman Islands economy, liquidity and capital
resources, capital expenditures and the business risks facing the Company. The
release and First Quarter 2009 MD&A can be accessed at www.cuc-cayman.com
(Investor Relations/Press Releases) and at www.sedar.com.
CUC provides electricity to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, under an
Electricity Generation Licence expiring in 2029 and an exclusive Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Licence expiring in 2028. 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 include statements that are predictive in nature,
depend upon future events or conditions, or include words such as "expects",
"anticipates", "plan", "believes", "estimates", "intends", "targets",
"projects", "forecasts", "schedule", or negative versions thereof and other
similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "may", "will",
"should", "would" and "could". 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
For further information:
For further information: Letitia Lawrence, Vice President Finance and
Chief Financial Officer, Phone: (345) 914-1124, E-Mail: email@example.com