BELLEVILLE, ON, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - During its annual shareholders' meeting held today in Belleville, 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 the company achieved consolidated net earnings of $9.4 million in 2011.
"Despite a very fragile economy and tough regulatory climate, we delivered on our commitment to shareholders by driving excellence in every aspect of our business - building on the foundation laid in previous years," said Dickerson. "We successfully managed our costs in 2011, reducing them by $3 per customer compared with 2010. This, combined with one per cent growth in our customer base, allowed us to meet our dividend and interest payment forecast for 2011."
Highlights from Veridian's 2011 financial results include:
- A return on shareholder's equity of 9.2 per cent.
- $9.5 million in interest and dividend payments to shareholders.
- The company has paid amounts to shareholders totalling $49 million, or 108 per cent, of its five year target (2007 to 2011) for dividend and interest payments.
- The sale of the water heater business to Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership for a one-time gain of $4.4 million.
- Distribution revenues of $47.9 million increased a marginal $0.4 million over 2010, or one per cent, due to a nominal increase in distribution rates approved by the Ontario Energy Board, weather impacts and energy conservation by customers.
In addition to Veridian's solid financial performance, Angemeer applauded Veridian and its employees for the awards and recognition the company received in 2011. "We're delighted to have been recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for a second consecutive year, voted the number one Energy Service Provider in Durham Region and recognized as Durham Region's Smart Commute Employer of the Year," commented Angemeer. "This recognition confirms Veridian's status as a leader in environment-first thinking, earth-friendly business practices and customer service."
Veridian's commitment to investing in smart grid technologies carried through 2011 as the company was part of two electric vehicle projects with Better Place and the Durham Strategic Energy Alliance (DSEA). Both projects support Ontario's vision of having at least one out of every 20 cars in the province be an electric vehicle (EV), as well as the government's efforts to raise awareness about EVs and their benefits. Additionally, Angemeer donated his modified Toyota Prius - Canada's first plug-in hybrid solar electric vehicle - to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The vehicle is being used as part of the Automotive Engineering program's participation in Auto21 - Canada's national automotive research program - and vehicle-to-grid communications testing.
Recognizing that conservation is a key piece to the puzzle when it comes to addressing Ontario's electricity supply mix and protecting the environment, Veridian - together with the Ontario Power Authority and other large distributors - was instrumental in developing the new saveONenergyOM province-wide conservation programs for homes and business. Several of Veridian's large business customers took advantage of the conservation programs, as did many of the company's residential customers.
Both Dickerson and Angemeer are optimistic about the business opportunities that lie ahead for Veridian and remain committed to focusing the company's efforts on increasing shareholder value, continuing to serve customers to a high standard, pursuing the goals and opportunities of the province's Green Energy Act, and seeking growth and economies of scale through mergers and acquisitions.
A copy of the company's 2011 annual report is available at www.veridiancorporation.ca.
OM Official Mark of the Ontario Power Authority. Used under licence.
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 115,000 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