08/14/2014 04:31 EDT | Updated 10/14/2014 05:12 EDT

Higher costs from long winter blamed for lower Q2 profits at Hydro One

TORONTO - Higher operation, maintenance and administration costs left over from the long winter are being blamed for lower earnings at Hydro One Inc. in the latest quarter.

Ontario's provincially owned electricity distribution company, which operates subsidiaries involved in electricity transmission, distribution and the telecom industries, reported net income of $115 million for three months ended June 30. That was down 32 per cent from $168 million in the second quarter a year earlier.

Hydro One was able to partially offset some of its higher costs through higher transmission rates approved by the Ontario Energy Board as well as rising consumption as revenue climbed 12 per cent to $1.57 billion from $1.4 billion a year earlier.

The company paid $30 million in dividends to the province in the quarter and $21 million in payments in lieu of corporate income taxes to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation.

It said it expects to grow the company by approximately five per cent, due to number of acquisitions its made recently of smaller energy companies.

The OEB approved Hydro One's purchase of Norfolk Power Inc. in July, while it still awaits the green light to acquire Woodstock Hydro Holdings Inc. and Haldimand County Utilities Inc.