02/14/2013 05:35 EST | Updated 04/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Keyera posts $56.7 million profit in fourth quarter, reversing year-earlier loss

CALGARY - Midstream natural gas company Keyera Corp. (TSX:KEY) posted a $56.7 million profit during the last three months of 2012, turning around a year-earlier loss.

The net income amounted to 73 cents per share, compared to a loss of $21.2 million, or 30 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of 2011, Calgary-based Keyera said Thursday.

Distributable cash flow was $74.4 million, or 96 cents per share, up from $51.2 million, or 72 cents per share.

Capital expenditures fell to $56.7 million from $70.7 million.

"Continued demand for services in all business segments underpinned Keyera's solid results in 2012. Keyera benefited from the acquisition of the Alberta EnviroFuels facility in January, and from contribution from several growth projects we have been developing over the past year or two," the company said in a release.

"We were successful in securing a number of new growth projects in 2012 that are now under development and are expected to provide value added services to our customers in the future. These projects, together with other new business opportunities currently under evaluation, are anticipated to provide our shareholders with continued value growth in the future."

Keyera provides a number of services to the natural gas industry, including gathering, processing, storage and transportation.

Throughput at gathering and processing plants was steady in 2012, as producers drilled for lucrative liquids-rich gas as a means to cope with persistently low dry natural gas prices. Its natural gas liquids infrastructure business grew significantly.

Sales of butane and condensate in Keyera's marketing segment were "solid" and its crude oil business also performed well.

Keyera said it sees business opportunities in shipping Canadian crude by rail, so that the oil can expand its market reach.

"With the significant discounts in the price of Canadian crude oils, oil producers are anxious to develop alternate arrangements for delivery of crude oil by rail," said Keyera.

"We are currently working with these producers to develop rail delivery alternatives using Keyera's logistics expertise, as well as our rail terminals in the Edmonton/Fort Saskatchewan and South Cheecham areas. We believe that we can provide our customers with significant value in this area and have already modified the terminal design at South Cheecham to accommodate additional (diluted bitumen) loading spots."