HALIFAX, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - (EMA-TSX): Emera Inc.'s consolidated net earnings were $191.1 million in 2010, compared to $175.7 million in 2009. Excluding the effect of mark-to-market accounting adjustments in Bear Swamp, net earnings were $199.7 million in 2010, compared to $175 million in 2009. Earnings per share were $1.68 for 2010 compared to $1.56 for 2009 and $1.76 in 2010 compared to $1.55 in 2009, excluding mark-to-market adjustments. Consolidated net earnings for the three months ended December 31, 2010 were $39.6 million compared to $37.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Quarterly earnings per share were $0.35 in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $0.33 for the same period in 2009.
"In 2010, we produced record operating results and record returns for our shareholders," said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. "Emera has had five years of solid progress. We have diversified our earnings, increased our clean generation, and set the stage for future growth."
Earnings in Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) were $121.3 million in 2010, compared to $109.3 million in 2009. This increase was primarily due to decreased income taxes associated with renewable investments, and an increase in the expected benefit from accelerated tax deductions. Offsetting these tax deductions were increased operating, maintenance and general expenses due primarily to higher pension and storm costs. NSPI contributed $20.7 million to consolidated net earnings in Q4 2010 compared to $17.4 million for the same period in 2009.
Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) contributed $31.9 million to consolidated net earnings in 2010 compared to $27.5 million for the same period in 2009. This increase was mainly due to increased returns from new transmission investments. BHE contributed $7.8 million to consolidated net earnings in Q4 2010 compared to $7.0 million for the same period in 2009.
Earnings in Pipelines contributed $35 million to consolidated net earnings in 2010 compared to $24.2 million in 2009. This increase was mainly attributable to increased earnings from the Brunswick Pipeline which went in service in July, 2009. Pipelines contributed $8.8 million in Q4 2010 compared to $8.4 million in Q4 2009.
Emera's Other investments contributed $16.1 million to consolidated net earnings in 2010 compared to $14.3 million in 2009. Excluding the effect of mark-to-market accounting changes in Bear Swamp, net earnings from Other investments were $24.7 million for 2010 compared to $13.6 million in 2009. Higher net earnings were driven by a successful year in Emera Utility Services, strong results in Emera Energy's marketing business, and the acquisition of Light and Power Holdings in May, 2010. Emera's Other investments contributed $3.3 million in Q4 2010 compared to net earnings of $8.9 million in Q4 2009. Excluding the mark-to-market accounting changes, net earnings were $5.9 million in Q4 2010 compared to $5.7 million for the same period in 2009.
Consolidated cash provided by operations was $416.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $310.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. This increase relates primarily to stronger operating results.
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 2010 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 905-694-9451), access code 1308472No. (available until midnight, Friday, February 25, 2011). The teleconference will also be web cast live at www.emera.com and available for playback for one year.
Emera Inc. is a growing energy and services company with $6.3 billion in assets and revenues of $1.6 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera's strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera operates throughout northeastern North America, in three Caribbean countries and in California. More than 80% of the company's earnings come from regulated investments.. Emera shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol EMA. Additional information can be accessed at www.emera.com or www.sedar.com.
SOURCE EMERA INC.
For further information: Jennifer Nicholson, CA, Senior Director, Stakeholder Relations, (902) 428-6347; Jill MacDonald, CA, Manager, Investor Relations, (902) 428-6486