Hydro-Quebec Q1 profits increase 1.7 per cent to $1.36 billion on higher exports

MONTREAL – Hydro-Quebec says it earned $1.36 billion in its latest quarter, up from $1.34 billion a year ago, helped by higher electricity sales and exports.

The public utility said revenues for the quarter period ended March 31 increased by to $3.98 billion, up from $3.74 billion a year ago.

Hydro-Quebec’s power generation division earned $745 million from continuing operations, up $125 million from the prior year.

The increase was due to a higher revenues from electricity sales and exports, while purchases of Rio Tinto Alcan power decreased by $29 million.

Under an agreement with the aluminum producer, Hydro-Quebec must purchase all the power generated from a Rio Tinto Alcan plant that was locked out last year.

The transmission division earned $168 million, up from $157 million a year ago, while distribution division profits fell to $442 million from $549 million.

Electricity sales in the province increased by $150 million to reach $3.4 billion mainly because temperatures were not as mild as in 2012.

Overall export revenue was $475 million, a $155 million increase from the prior year.