KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2007) - FortisBC Inc. (TSX:FTS) today announced its 2007 third quarter results, reporting a strong customer satisfaction rating, higher capital investment and increased earnings.
Earnings for the third quarter of 2007 were $6.1 million, an increase of $0.5 million over the same period last year. The higher earnings were attributable to increases in electricity revenue and other revenue, decreases in power purchases and operating expenses, offset in part by increases in depreciation and amortization, interest expense and income taxes.
"Higher electricity sales from customer growth and a continued focus on reducing operating expenses have contributed to the results this quarter," said John Walker, President & CEO, FortisBC Inc. "FortisBC is making extensive capital investments focused on responding to ongoing customer growth and enhancing system reliability and safety," added Walker. As of the end of the third quarter the Company had invested approximately $100 million in its 2007 capital program.
During the third quarter of 2007 the Company continued to make improvements to meter reading and billing processes. These improvements were reflected in FortisBC's customer satisfaction rating which has equaled or exceeded 85% for five consecutive quarters.
FortisBC is committed to energy conservation through its PowerSense program, which provides both financial incentives and advice on energy efficient technologies and practices. Year to date, FortisBC has helped customers save approximately 24 gigawatt hours of electricity - enough to power 1,800 homes annually.
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 regulated hydroelectric generating plants with a combined capacity of 235 megawatts and approximately 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., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, which serves almost 2,000,000 gas and electric customers and has approximately $10 billion of assets. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
FortisBC may include forward-looking statements in this release which reflect management's expectations regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expects", "intend" and similar expressions have been used to identify the forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on information currently available to the Company's management. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying factors or assumptions which are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such risk factors or assumptions include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, weather and competition. FortisBC cautions readers that a number of factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These factors should be considered carefully and undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements. 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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Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer