AJAX, ON, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - During its annual shareholders' meeting held today in Ajax, Veridian Corporation Chair Doug Dickerson together with company President and CEO Michael Angemeer provided shareholders with an update on Veridian's business operations and announced that the utility achieved consolidated net earnings of $11.9 million in 2013.
"We are extremely pleased with the company's financial performance over the past year," said Dickerson. "Strong growth in shareholders' equity, while maintaining robust interest and dividend payments and reasonable customer rates, has been the long term trend at Veridian. Additionally, the company's reliability indices are competitive when compared to other electric utilities in Ontario, and an annual improvement measured against historical results remain a key business goal."
Highlights from Veridian's 2013 financial results include:
- A total of $8.2 million in interest and dividend payments to shareholders.
- Electricity distribution revenues, excluding smart meter activities, have increased $3.8 million to $49.0 million from 2009.
- Shareholder equity has increased $12.6 million since 2011, or by six per cent, which is double the growth rate from 2009 to 2011.
- The Board of Directors has approved a dividend policy for the years 2012 to 2016 with base dividends of $4.7 million each year, subject to certain provisions.
Adding to Veridian's financial results, Angemeer reported that the company recorded exceptional operational performance in a number of key areas in 2013. "Our employees continue to be industry leaders when it comes to customer service and workplace safety - recording a 93 per cent customer satisfaction rating and working more than 400,000 hours without a lost-time injury," he noted. "These are outstanding achievements that show the dedication and commitment to performance excellence among our employees."
Angemeer also pointed out the recognition the company received in 2013. "We were thrilled to be named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for a fourth consecutive year - a designation that recognizes our leadership in creating a culture of environmental awareness in our workplace, and honoured to have received the Smart Commute Workplace - Silver designation for our efforts in providing enhanced commuter options for our employees and promoting sustainable transportation."
What might be remembered most about 2013 is the severe thunderstorm that ripped through Gravenhurst in mid-July and the ice storm that hit southern Ontario in late December. Both Dickerson and Angemeer applauded the efforts and dedication shown by employees, other assisting utilities and contractors during both storms, as they worked long days, in difficult conditions and sacrificed precious time with their families to support the company's power restoration and customer communications efforts. "The storm relief work and support by staff was truly inspiring, and a reminder of what makes Veridian such a great place to work and a valuable community asset," said Angemeer.
The theme of Veridian's 2013 Annual Report is "Delivering Peace of Mind". Customers and stakeholders can be assured that many recommendations flowing from stakeholder engagements as a result of the ice storm have been or will be implemented. "Whether its restoring 80 per cent of a large feeder outage in less than five minutes with distribution automation controlled by operators in our 24/7 control centre or responding better to a prolonged natural disaster with multiple outages, we commit to getting the power back on faster and improving communication with our customers," said Angemeer.
Dickerson and Angemeer are optimistic about the business opportunities that lie ahead for Veridian, and remain committed to its strategic objectives of growth and improvement in its core distribution business, financial strength and solid returns, providing excellent customer service and reliability, and ensuring an engaging and safe workplace for its employees. Both agree that Veridian has the people, plans, partnerships and strategic investments that are building stronger, more resilient communities. "Through the leadership of its Boards of Directors, shareholder communities and executive management team, Veridian is well positioned to continue its track record of strong financial performance and operational excellence," said Dickerson.
A copy of Veridian's 2013 annual report is available at: www.veridiancorporation.ca
Veridian Corporation, the seventh largest municipal electricity company in Ontario, owns and operates two subsidiary companies that distribute electricity and provide energy services to more than 117,000 customers located in nine municipalities in east central Ontario. Together, our employees focus on providing reliable, efficient, sustainable energy solutions and services, and equally share the job of making employee and public health and safety our number one priority. We are an important fixture in the communities that we serve. In addition to providing reasonable electricity rates, we promote economic growth, community building and sustainable living. Veridian Corporation is committed to providing value and healthy financial returns to our shareholders - the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Municipality of Clarington and the City of Belleville. For more information, visit www.veridiancorporation.ca.
For further information:
Sales & PR Representative - Corporate Communications
Veridian Connections Inc.
905-427-9870, extension 2218
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