04/16/2014 05:40 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT

New report shows 2013 a tough year for Saskatchewan Crown corporations

REGINA - A new report says Saskatchewan's Crown corporations had substantially higher net earnings last year.

The Crowns reported net earnings of $566 million in 2013, up $128 million from 2012.

But the results are not as rosy as they appear, and include $156 million in net proceeds from the sale of shares in the Information Services Corporation.

Donna Harpauer, minister of Crown Investments Corporation, says 2013 was actually a challenging year.

She says earnings were down at SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskEnergy and SGI.

Harpauer says Crown debt rose by $915 million, which reflects spending on needed infrastructure projects for the province's growing population.

"2013 was another year of meeting the challenges of growth," she said Wednesday in a release.

"The Crowns are laying the groundwork for further economic growth by ensuring new residents and businesses have the services they need to prosper."