BUSINESS

Fortis reports Q2 profit up from year ago, revenue down six per cent

07/31/2012 08:02 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) reported Tuesday higher second-quarter profits compared with a year ago, driven by its operations in Alberta and Belize.

The power utility said it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $62 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with a profit of $57 million, or 32 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue slipped to $792 million, down from $846 million.

Fortis said the improved results at FortisAlberta were mainly due to growth in energy infrastructure investment and increased transmission revenue.

The company's results in Belize, where it has hydroelectric assets, were helped by higher rainfall.

Earlier this year, Fortis signed a deal to buy New York state utility CH Energy Group in a takeover valued at about US$1.5 billion including about US$500 million in debt that will be assumed.

CH owns Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp., a utility with 300,000 electric and 75,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of upper New York State.

"The second half of 2012 will continue to be very busy for Fortis, with significant regulatory proceedings continuing at our largest utilities and our annual capital program projected to reach a record $1.3 billion," Fortis president and chief executive Stan Marshall said in a statement.

"The addition of CH Energy Group to Fortis will deliver tangible benefits to customers of Central Hudson and support the utility's focus on enhancing customer service."

Fortis has power and gas distribution businesses in Canada as well as Belize and New York. It also owns hotels in Canada and commercial office and retail real estate primarily in Atlantic Canada.