Valener to increase dividend starting in January, annual profit up from year ago

MONTREAL – Valener Inc. (TSX:VNR) raised its quarterly dividend as it reported its annual profit was up from a year ago.

The publicly traded affiliate of natural gas distribution company Gaz Metro says it will start paying a quarterly dividend of 27 cents per share in January, up from 26 cents.

The increase came as it reported its profit attributable to common shareholders climbed to $42.8 million or $1.12 per share in its latest financial year, up from $36.7 million or 97 cents per share a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company says it earned $45.3 million or $1.19 per share, up from $36.7 million or 97 cents per share.

The company attributed the increase to excellent performance of its wind farms and a rise in profits at Gaz Metro.

Valener holds a 24.5 per cent indirect interest in the Seigneurie de Beaupre wind power project and a 29 per cent stake in Gaz Metro Limited Partnership

Gaz Metro is the largest distributor of natural gas in Quebec. The company also owns gas and electricity distribution operations in Vermont.