CLARINGTON, ON, June 24 /CNW/ - During its annual shareholders' meeting held in Clarington today, Veridian Corporation's Chair Glenn Rainbird and President and CEO Michael Angemeer provided shareholders with an update on the company's business operations and announced that the company achieved consolidated net earnings of $11 million in 2009.
"We are extremely pleased with Veridian's financial performance over the past year," said Rainbird. "Despite a very fragile economy, Veridian recorded its best financial performance ever in 2009. Annual earnings were well above the $8.7 million earned in 2008. Veridian's strong financial position enabled us to pay shareholders $8.2 million in dividends, exceeding the previous annual dividend paid by $4 million."
Highlights from Veridian's 2009 financial results include:
- $12.8 million in interest and dividend payments to shareholders, up
from $8.8 million in 2008.
- Excluding smart meter revenues, there was a nominal increase in
electricity distribution revenue due to energy conservation by
customers, weather impacts and a slower pace of new customer
- An increase in capital assets from $132.3 million in 2008 to
$147.8 million in 2009. The growing value of capital assets supports
growth, renewal of aging equipment and improvement in system
- The sale of the Fibre Optics business to Blink Communications Inc.
for proceeds of $2.75 million.
- Electricity distribution revenue of $5 million for smart meter
installations and related expenses of $4.1 million, resulting in a
one-time increase to net income of $0.9 million.
In addition to the company's solid financial results, Veridian recorded exceptional operational performance in a number of key areas during 2009 - reaching new heights in customer service and workplace safety. Veridian recorded a 95 per cent customer satisfaction rating and accumulated 2.4 million hours without a lost-time injury - a milestone spanning over eight years.
Angemeer commented on the Province of Ontario's Green Energy and Green Economy Act, saying that Veridian is committed to helping Ontario become a leader in renewable energy and conservation. "The province is depending on local distribution companies to lead the way. Through a number of projects, initiatives and partnerships, Veridian has encouraged sustainable practices to help build a smarter society - one that will recognize Ontario as a leading green economy in North America and a magnet for the world," he said. "Veridian will continue to lead the way by collaborating with municipalities, businesses and post-secondary institutions to bring innovative energy solutions and jobs to our service areas, explore renewable business opportunities and connect renewable generation to help create the sustainable communities of tomorrow."
In his concluding remarks, Angemeer mentioned the company's recent selection as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2010. "This recognition once again confirms Veridian's status as a leader in sustainable practices and, more specifically, environmental friendliness," said Angemeer. "We have worked hard to develop a culture that identifies the importance of acting in a responsible way. In doing so, we are attracting talented employees who share our commitment to environmental leadership and earth-friendly activities."
Modest growth is expected over the next several years due to customer conservation and economy-related demand reductions. At the same time, Veridian is poised to meet substantial new demand for residential servicing as a result of new development in north Pickering (Duffin Heights and Seaton). Additionally, provincial plans to advance the construction of Highways 7 and 407 through Durham Region, with work having begun in 2009, are certain to stimulate customer growth in this area.
An interactive copy of the company's 2009 annual report is available at www.veridian.on.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 112,000 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 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 further information: For further information: Chris Mace, Sales & PR Representative - Corporate Communications, Veridian Connections Inc., 905-427-9870, extension 2218