MONTREAL, Nov. 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec's continuing operations yielded satisfying results for the three- and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2012, considering the economic context and market conditions.
Consolidated results for the third quarter
Hydro-Québec posted a result from continuing operations of $376 million for the third quarter of 2012, compared to $404 million in 2011. The difference is due to a $61-million reduction in the net result from special contracts with certain large industrial customers in Québec on account of aluminum prices and the exchange rate, as well as to electricity purchases of $45 million from Rio Tinto Alcan. These factors were partly offset by a $51-million increase in revenue from net electricity exports by Hydro-Québec Production.
Consolidated results for the first three quarters
For the first nine months of 2012, the result from continuing operations was $2,121 million, compared to $2,271 million for the same period last year. The difference is partly attributable to a decrease in revenue from electricity sales in Québec owing to lower demand, mainly in the industrial sector, which had an impact of $89 million. It is also due to a $99-million decrease in the net result from special contracts with certain large industrial customers in Québec on account of aluminum prices and the exchange rate, as well as to electricity purchases of $119 million from Rio Tinto Alcan. These factors were partly offset by a $34-million increase in revenue from Hydro-Québec Production's net electricity exports and by a $47-million reduction in financial expenses. Cash flows from operating activities totaled $3,230 million as at September 30, 2012.
In September 2012, following the decision to abandon the project to refurbish Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, Hydro-Québec posted a negative result from discontinued operations that essentially stems from the accounting treatment of the facility's definitive shutdown at the end of 2012. More specifically, the abandonment of the refurbishment project and the imminent shutdown of Gentilly-2 led to a write-off of $978 million in property, plant and equipment under construction and to the recognition of an asset impairment charge of $827 million, for a total of $1,805 million. The result from discontinued operations also includes a negative operating result of $51 million. It should be noted that this accounting treatment has no impact on the cash flows from operating activities.
When the discontinued operations are factored in, the net result for the first nine months of the year amounted to $265 million in 2012, compared to $2,237 million in 2011.
Segmented results for the first three quarters
Hydro-Québec Production posted a result from continuing operations of $1,208 million, compared to $1,492 million in 2011. This decrease is due to a reduction in revenue from electricity sales to Hydro-Québec Distribution on account of the mild temperatures in 2012 and of lower demand in Québec. In addition, the net result from special contracts with certain large industrial customers in Québec, assumed by Hydro-Québec Production, was lower than in 2011 because of aluminum prices and the exchange rate. The division also purchased electricity from Rio Tinto Alcan. On the other hand, revenue from net electricity exports increased with respect to last year.
Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie's result from continuing operations was $478 million, a $54-million increase over 2011.
Hydro-Québec Distribution recorded a result from continuing operations of $346 million, an increase of $80 million over last year. Revenue from electricity sales decreased, mainly on account of the mild temperatures in 2012 and lower demand, mostly in the industrial sector. This decrease was offset by a positive change in the amounts that Hydro-Québec will be able to recover from customers, primarily for revenue variances related to climate conditions, as well as by a decrease in electricity purchases from Hydro-Québec Production and a reduction in financial expenses.
In the Construction segment, work handled by Hydro-Québec Équipement et services partagés totaled $1,429 million, compared to $1,245 million in 2011. Among other projects carried out for Hydro-Québec Production, the division continued construction of the Romaine complex. Work done for Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie included the ongoing project to connect Romaine-2 generating station, integrating output from wind farms as well as various projects stemming from continued investment in asset sustainment, among other things. As for the Société d'énergie de la Baie James, its volume of activity amounted to $122 million, compared to $244 million last year. In January 2012, the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert project reached a major milestone with the commissioning of the last generating unit at Eastmain-1-A powerhouse.
Hydro-Québec invested $2,627 million in the first nine months of 2012. As expected, a large portion of this amount was devoted to the company's growth and development projects as well as to maintenance and improvement activities.
During the third quarter of 2012, Hydro-Québec issued $500 million of debentures on the Canadian market, bearing interest at 5.00% and maturing in February 2050. This financing is in addition to the US$1,000 million raised in the first half of the year. The funds will be used to support part of the investment program and to refinance maturing debt.
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