ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2006) - Newfoundland Power Inc.(TSX:FTS) today released its 2006 third quarter results.
Earnings for the third quarter of 2006 were $2.6 million compared to $3.4 million for the same quarter in 2005. The decrease was primarily due to higher purchased power costs, partially offset by an increase in earnings due to adoption of the accrual method of revenue recognition. Both items, which impacted quarterly and year-to-date results, are not expected to have a material impact on annual results. The Company has also experienced lower electricity sales compared to last year.
The Company achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 88% for the third quarter, which is an improvement over 87% in the previous quarter.
"Our employees focus on delivering service excellence every day and as a result, continue to receive high satisfaction ratings from customers," said Karl Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newfoundland Power Inc. "Part of our commitment to customers includes helping them save energy."
Energy efficiency continues to be a focus for the Company. Employees have participated in more than 45 trade shows and public events year-to-date. At each of these events, the Company promoted BrightIdeas(TM), its energy efficiency program aimed at helping customers save energy. Also during the third quarter, the Company offered customers double the normal rebate under its Wrap Up for Savings program.
"With the rising price of fuel, and thus electricity, customers are becoming more interested in energy efficient products and services, so we are devoting more attention to providing them with the right tools and information to help them get the most out of their energy dollar," added Smith.
The Company's ability to provide safe and reliable electricity service to customers at the lowest cost is largely dependent upon the quality and condition of its capital assets. In the first three quarters of this year, the Company invested over $39 million on various capital projects throughout the island.
During the third quarter, the Company received approval from the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities for its 2007 Capital Budget in the amount of $62.2 million.
"The main focus of the Company's continuing capital investment is the replacement of aging equipment to strengthen the electricity system," added Smith. "It also includes $18.8 million for the refurbishment of the Rattling Brook Hydroelectric Plant, located in Central Newfoundland, which began operation in 1958 and requires extensive renovation."
In the third quarter, the province experienced one fatality and two serious accidents as a result of members of the public cutting trees that fell into energized power lines.
"The safety of our employees, customers and the public is our number one priority. Following these incidents, we immediately increased our ongoing safety information and advertising efforts to continue to remind the general public and employers about the dangers of working near power lines," concluded Smith.
Customers are encouraged to contact the Company for more information on working safely around power lines.
With a customer base of over 228,000 accounts, Newfoundland Power is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service and reliability in the most cost-efficient manner possible. Newfoundland Power is also leading the charge on energy efficiency in this province with BrightIdeas(TM), an energy efficiency program aimed at helping customers save energy and money. For more information on Newfoundland Power's programs and services, visit www.newfoundlandpower.com.
All the common shares of Newfoundland Power are owned by Fortis Inc., a diversified, international electric utility holding company with assets approaching $4.5 billion and annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion. The Common Shares, First Preference Shares, Series C, First Preference Shares, Series E and First Preference Shares, Series F of Fortis are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FTS, FTS.PR.C, FTS.PR.E and FTS.PR.F, respectively. Fortis information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com.
Newfoundland Power may include forward-looking statements in this release. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such events include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, weather and competition. Newfoundland Power cautions readers that should certain events or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Newfoundland Power Inc.
Director, Corporate Communications