MONTREAL – Hydro-Quebec earned $2.94 billion in profits last year, up from $860 million in 2012 when it absorbed large losses from the decision to close a nuclear power plant.
Exports outside the province and cost reductions helped the public utility generate the record $2.938 billion of earnings from continuing operations, up 7.4 per cent from $2.74 billion in the prior year.
Net exports, including short-term purchases, rose to $1.35 billion due to higher power output, more favourable market conditions and the depreciation of the Canadian dollar. The exports generated $622 million of earnings.
A cold spell across North America caused energy prices to rise to 4.4 cents per kWh.
Total revenues increased 5.7 per cent to $12.88 billion from $12.14 billion.
The results included a $122-million reduction in electricity purchases from Rio Tinto Alcan.
Dividends paid to the Quebec government increased to $2.2 billion from $645 million in 2012 and $1.96 billion in 2011.