ATCO Ltd.
TSX : ACO.X
TSX : ACO.Y

ATCO Ltd.

February 20, 2014 07:38 ET

ATCO Achieved Record Earnings in 2013

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 20, 2014) - ATCO Ltd. (TSX:ACO.X)(TSX:ACO.Y) ATCO today reported record earnings for 2013 and the Company's largest-ever annual investment in Alberta utility infrastructure.

Adjusted earnings were $390 million compared to $370 million in 2012. Earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares, which include items not in the normal course of business, were $418 million for 2013 compared to $370 million in 2012.

The Utilities business segment, which includes natural gas, electricity and pipeline infrastructure, drove the record adjusted earnings as a result of increased capital expenditures of $2.2 billion in 2013, exceeding the $2.1 billion spent in 2012. Investment was led by ATCO Electric, which is building new transmission infrastructure to meet Alberta's long term electricity demand and improve reliability for customers. Work continued on the $1.8 billion Eastern Alberta Transmission Line throughout the year, while the Hanna Region Transmission Development project was completed in the third quarter.

"Our Utilities companies had a strong year building critical infrastructure in Alberta," said Nancy Southern, Chair, President & CEO, ATCO. "I'm particularly pleased that we delivered the largest project in our history, the $650 million Hanna Transmission project, on time and $60 million under budget."

ATCO Power also contributed to the record adjusted earnings. The primary drivers were higher realized power prices and a continued focus on maintenance which led to higher plant availability.

Increased earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares were the result of higher adjusted earnings and ATCO Structures & Logistics' sale of its interests in its South American operations for cash proceeds of $124 million. The sale resulted in a gain of $88 million; the Company recognized earnings of $56 million after income taxes and non-controlling interests. Partly offsetting these earnings were impairments of power generation assets in the United Kingdom and natural gas gathering, processing and liquids extraction assets in western Canada.

ATCO had fourth quarter adjusted earnings of $97 million, compared to record earnings of $102 million for the same quarter in 2012. The lower earnings were a result of ATCO Structures & Logistics' reduced project activity in Australia and forgone earnings from the sale of the Company's modular structures operations in South America. ATCO Power also experienced lower power prices and increased planned maintenance outages in the fourth quarter. These decreases were partly offset by ATCO Structures & Logistics' strong fleet sales and workforce housing projects in North America, and ATCO's continued investment in utility infrastructure in Alberta. Earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares were $71 million in the fourth quarter compared to $98 million in the same period in 2012 because of the asset impairments.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

  • ATCO Structures & Logistics was awarded a contract to manufacture, install and operate a 1,200-person workforce housing facility for Shell Carmon Creek Project in northern Alberta. Manufacturing work started in the fourth quarter of 2013, with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

  • ATCO Pipelines received approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission to proceed with the approximately $700 million Urban Pipeline Replacement Project. This project will replace and relocate the Company's aging, high-pressure natural gas pipelines located in densely populated areas of Calgary and Edmonton into the Transportation Utility Corridors that surround both cities.

  • In 2013, Standard and Poor's Rating Services re-affirmed ATCO's A (Stable) rating. Additionally, in December 2013, Standard and Poor's upgraded ATCO Gas Australia's credit rating outlook from BBB (Positive) to A- (Stable).

  • ATCO declared a first quarter dividend for 2014 of 21.5 cents per Class I Non-Voting and Class II Voting Share, a 15% increase over the 18.75 cents paid in the previous four quarters. ATCO's annual dividend per share has increased for 21 consecutive years.

  • On November 7, 2013, ATCO's subsidiary, CU Inc., issued $225 million of 40-year 4.558% Debentures maturing November 7, 2053.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY AND RECONCILIATION OF ADJUSTED EARNINGS

A financial summary and reconciliation of adjusted earnings to earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares is provided below:

For the Three Months Ended December 31 (4) For the Year Ended
December 31(4)
($ Millions except share data) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Adjusted earnings (1) 97 102 390 370
Gain and loss on asset sales (2) (2 ) - 54 -
Impairments (2) (25 ) - (25 ) -
Adjustments for rate-regulated activities (2) 1 (4 ) (1 ) -
Earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares 71 98 418 370
Revenues 1,164 1,080 4,359 4,012
Funds generated by operations (3) 486 463 1,868 1,636
Weighted average shares outstanding (millions of shares) 114.8 114.6 114.8 115.0
(1) Adjusted earnings are earnings attributable to Class I and Class II Shares after adjusting for the timing of revenues and expenses associated with rate-regulated activities. Adjusted earnings also exclude one-time gains and losses, significant impairments and items that are not in the normal course of business or as a result of day-to-day operations. Adjusted earnings present earnings on the same basis as was used prior to adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) - that basis being the U.S. accounting principles for rate-regulated entities - and they are a key measure used to assess segment performance, to reflect the economics of rate regulation and to facilitate comparability of ATCO's earnings with other Canadian rate-regulated companies.
(2) Refer to Note 6 to the consolidated financial statements for descriptions of the adjustments.
(3) This measure is cash flow from operations before changes in non-cash working capital. It does not have standardized meaning under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies.
(4) 2012 financial information has been restated as a result of adopting new and amended IFRS accounting standards that became effective in 2013.

The $347 million year over year increase in revenues ($84 million in the fourth quarter) was mainly due to growth in the Utilities segment, higher realized power prices, and increased fuel costs in power generation and natural gas extraction operations that are flowed through to customers.

Funds generated by operations increased $232 million for the year ($23 million in the fourth quarter) primarily for the same reasons earnings increased, coupled with higher contributions received from customers for utility capital expenditures.

ATCO's consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the three months and year ended December 31, 2013 will be available on the ATCO website (www.atco.com), via SEDAR (www.sedar.com) or can be requested from the Company.

ATCO Ltd., with more than 9,800 employees and assets of approximately $16 billion, delivers service excellence and innovative business solutions worldwide with leading companies engaged in Structures & Logistics (manufacturing, logistics and noise abatement), Utilities (pipelines, natural gas and electricity transmission and distribution), Energy (power generation, natural gas gathering, processing, storage and liquids extraction) and Technologies (business systems solutions). More information can be found at www.atco.com.

Forward-Looking Information:

Certain statements contained in this news release may constitute forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "anticipate", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "should", and similar expressions. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking information should not be unduly relied upon.

Any forward-looking information contained in this news release represents the Company's expectations as of the date hereof, and is subject to change after such date. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities legislation.

Contact Information

  • ATCO Ltd.
    B.R. (Brian) Bale
    Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 292-7502
    www.atco.com