ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Oct. 30, 2007) - Newfoundland Power Inc. (TSX:FTS) today released its 2007 third quarter results.
Earnings for the third quarter were $2.7 million, comparable to $2.6 million for the third quarter of 2006. Revenue from higher electricity sales, and lower operating expenses and corporate taxes, was offset by a lower allowed return on equity for 2007 and increased finance charges.
"We remain committed to managing our operations to help maintain stable electricity rates for our customers," said Earl Ludlow, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newfoundland Power Inc.
Year to date, the Company has invested approximately $50 million in capital projects across the island. In addition to refurbishment of its Rattling Brook Hydroelectric Plant located in Central Newfoundland, major capital projects during the third quarter included a transmission line rebuild in the New Chelsea area on the Avalon Peninsula and the upgrading of Stamps Lane Substation in St. John's.
The Company's 2008 Capital Budget of approximately $51 million was approved by the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities ("PUB") during the third quarter. More than half of the capital expenditures in 2008 will be allocated to replace older and deteriorated components of the electricity system.
The Company's year to date customer satisfaction rating is 88%. "We take our commitment of providing all of our customers, regardless of their location, with a high level of service and reliability very seriously," added Ludlow. "We will continue to invest in rural parts of the province while still meeting the demand for new services in urban centres."
During the quarter, the Company partnered with the Department of Natural Resources and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to host the province's first-ever SAVE Energy Event in Burin. It involved an energy efficiency tradeshow and a door-to-door delivery of approximately 6,400 compact florescent lights to households in the Burin area. "We continue to assist our customers in making energy efficient choices that help them reduce their energy usage and electricity bills," concluded Ludlow.
On October 11, 2007, the Company filed a revised application with the PUB for the purpose of setting electricity rates for 2008. The Company's revised application is subject to approval by the PUB.
With a customer base of over 230,000 accounts, Newfoundland Power is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service and reliability of electricity in the most cost-efficient manner possible. All the common shares of Newfoundland Power are owned by 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. Its regulated holdings include a natural gas utility in British Columbia, Canada and electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. 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. For more information on Newfoundland Power's programs, services and community partnerships, please visit www.newfoundlandpower.com.
Newfoundland Power 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. Newfoundland Power 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 Newfoundland Power's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities. Newfoundland Power 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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Newfoundland Power Inc.
Director, Corporate Communications