HALIFAX, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - (EMA-TSX): Emera Inc. today released unaudited financial results. The company's consolidated net earnings were $175.7 million in 2009, compared to $144.1 million in 2008. Earnings per share were $1.56 for 2009 compared and $1.29 for 2008. Consolidated net earnings for the three months ended December 31, 2009 were $37.5 million compared to $25.3 million for the same period in 2008. Quarterly earnings per share were $0.33 in 2009 compared to $0.23 in 2008.
"2009 was a positive year for our business," said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc." Not only did we have strong operating results, we also made progress on our growth strategy. Brunswick Pipeline went in service last July, we acquired the Bayside generating station in Saint John and we entered into a strategic partnership with Algonquin. As well, Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) deployed its test tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy in November and we are advancing several wind projects."
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.2825 per share, an increase of $0.01, payable on or after May 17th to common shareholders of record at the close of business on May 3rd, 2010. This qualifies as an eligible dividend under the applicable legislation. This results in an annualized rate of $1.13, an increase from $1.09 per share.
Earnings in NSPI were $109.3 million in 2009, compared to $105.6 million for the same period in 2008 due to an increase in electric margin and a fuel incentive paid to the company as a result of effective fuel management on behalf of customers. NSPI contributed $17.4 million to consolidated net earnings in Q4 2009 compared to $14.4 million for the same period in 2008.
Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) contributed $27.5 million to consolidated net earnings in 2009 compared to $23.1 million for the same period in 2008. This increase was mainly due to increased returns from new transmission investments and a stronger average US dollar. BHE contributed $7.0 million to consolidated net earnings in Q4 2009 compared to $6.6 million for the same period in 2008.
Emera's pipelines contributed $24.2 million to consolidated net earnings in 2009 compared to $15.4 million in 2008. This increase was mainly attributable to increased earnings from the Brunswick Pipeline which went in service in July. The pipelines contributed $8.4 million for Q4 2009 compared to $6.9 million in Q4 2008.
Emera's other investments contributed $12.5 million to consolidated net earnings in 2009 compared to $1.6 million in 2008. Excluding the effect of mark-to-market accounting changes on a long-term contract at the Bear Swamp generating facility, net earnings from other investments were $11.8 million for 2009 compared to $6.4 million in 2008.
Consolidated cash provided by operations was $302.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $237.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. This increase relates primarily to stronger operating results.
Emera's practice is to issue audited financial statements concurrent with this release. The company's auditors, Ernst & Young, are not in a position to render their audit opinion at this time due to a delay in receiving an audit opinion from third party auditors of Emera's subsidiary, Bear Swamp. That opinion is expected to be received early next week, at which time Ernst & Young will render their audit opinion. Management does not expect any change in the financial information disclosed today. Unaudited Financial Highlights are available on our website at www.emera.com.
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains forward looking information. Actual future results may differ materially. Additional financial and operational information is filed electronically with various securities commissions in Canada through the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR).
Emera is holding a teleconference today at 4:00 pm Atlantic time (3:00 pm Toronto/Montreal/New York; 2:00 pm Winnipeg; 12:00 pm Vancouver) to discuss the Q4 2009 financial results. Analysts and other interested parties wanting to participate in the call should dial 1-866-225-0198 (in Toronto 416-340-8061) at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. No pass code is required. The teleconference will be recorded. If you are unable to join the teleconference live, you can dial for playback toll-free at 1-800-408-3053 (in Toronto 416-695-5800), access code 5868153#. (available until midnight, Friday, February, 26, 2010). The teleconference will also be web cast live at www.emera.com and available for playback for one year.
Emera Inc. (EMA-TSX) is an energy and services company with $5.3 billion in assets. Electricity is Emera's core business. Approximately 94% of Emera's revenues are earned by Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI), Bangor Hydro-Electric Company (BHE) and the Brunswick Pipeline. NSPI and BHE are wholly-owned regulated electric utilities which together serve 603,000 customers. The Brunswick Pipeline is a 145 km gas pipeline in New Brunswick. Emera also owns 19% of St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited, which serves more than 50,000 customers on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and 25% of Grand Bahama Power Company which serves 19,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Grand Bahama. In addition to its electric utility investments, Emera owns Bayside Power, a 260 MW gas-fired power plant in Saint John, New Brunswick; Emera Energy Services, a physical natural gas and power marketing and asset management business; a joint venture interest in Bear Swamp, a 600 megawatt pumped storage hydro-electric facility in northern Massachusetts; a 12.9% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline; and an 8.2% interest in Open Hydro. Visit Emera on the web at www.emera.com.
SOURCE Emera Inc.
For further information: For further information: Jennifer Nicholson, CA, Senior Director, Stakeholder Relations, (902) 428-6347; Jill MacDonald, CA, Manager, Investor Relations, (902) 428-6486