KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 19, 2007) - FortisBC Inc. (TSX:FTS) released its 2007 first quarter results today.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2007 were $11.3 million, comparable to 2006 first quarter earnings of $11.3 million. These results were achieved despite a decrease in regulated Return on Equity (ROE) from 9.2% in 2006 to 8.77% in 2007.
"Higher electricity sales and the approved 2007 customer rate increase resulted in increased revenues of $1.6 million over the first quarter of 2006. These revenues were offset by higher power purchases and operating expenses, resulting in comparable earnings to the first quarter of 2006," noted John Walker, President and CEO of FortisBC.
During the first quarter of 2007 the Company continued to improve performance in the areas of safety, reliability and customer service. These improvements were reflected in FortisBC's customer satisfaction rating which increased from 84% in the first quarter of 2006 to 86% in the first quarter of 2007.
"We continue to make significant investment in our electrical system to address ongoing customer growth and to improve system reliability," added Walker. Approval of the 2007-2008 Capital Plan by the British Columbia Utilities Commission in November 2006 has enabled the Company to initiate capital programs earlier in the year, allowing for greater flexibility in project planning. Year to date the Company has invested approximately $28 million of the approved $128 million 2007 Capital Plan.
FortisBC is an integrated electric utility based in Kelowna, British Columbia and operating in the southern interior of British Columbia. The Company serves approximately 152,000 customers directly and indirectly. The utility has four hydroelectric generating plants with a combined capacity of 235 megawatts and over 6,750 kilometers of transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC employs over 570 people in British Columbia and is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. - principally a diversified, international distribution utility holding company with assets of approximately $5.4 billion and annual revenues of approximately $1.5 billion. Fortis Inc. holds investments in regulated electricity distribution utilities, non-regulated generation operations and a non-utility company with investments in real estate and hotels. The Common Shares, Series C First Preference Shares, Series E First Preference Shares, Series F First Preference Shares and Subscription Receipts of Fortis Inc. are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FTS, FTS.PR.C, FTS.PR.E, FTS.PR.F and FRS.R, respectively. Fortis Inc. information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com.
FortisBC 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. FortisBC cautions readers that should certain events or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, reference should be made to FortisBC's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities. FortisBC disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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