Countryside Power Income Fund

Countryside Power Income Fund

November 10, 2005 07:15 ET

Countryside Power Income Fund Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter of 2005

LONDON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) -

Acquisition of Cogeneration Assets Adds Significantly to Distributable Cash Flow

Countryside Power Income Fund (TSX:COU.UN) ("the Fund") today announced its financial results for the third quarter period ended September 30, 2005. All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

Financial Highlights:

- Revenue was $26.8 million for the quarter

- EBITDA(i) was $10.6 million for the quarter

- Distributable cash(i) was $6.2 million for the quarter or $0.418 per unit and $13.8 million year-to-date or $0.926 per unit

- Declared distributions of $3.8 million or $0.257 per unit for the quarter and $11.5 million or $0.770 per unit year-to-date

"We executed on the growth strategy that we laid out for investors last year, and saw tangible evidence of our success in Countryside's solid results for the third quarter," said Goran Mornhed, President and Chief Executive Officer of the management company, Countryside Ventures LLC. "As a result of the acquisition of two cogeneration plants in California, we have further diversified our portfolio, added assets with long-term predictable cash flow streams and increased cash available for distribution to unitholders," he added.

During the third quarter, Countryside's board of trustees declared an increase in the Fund's cash distributions of $0.01 per unit annually as a result of the expected accretive acquisition of the Ripon cogeneration facilities (the "Cogen Facilities").

Operating Results

Countryside's total revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2005 was $26.8 million, an increase of $20 million compared with the same period last year, primarily as a result of the acquisition of the Cogen Facilities. Excluding the effect of the acquisition, revenue would have been $6.9 million, up from $6.7 million in the same period in 2004, primarily due to better results at the district energy systems, which benefited from the addition of a new customer, changes in fuel pricing and improvements in efficiency. In the nine months ended September 30, 2005, revenue was $43.3 million. Since the Fund commenced operations on April 8, 2004, there is no comparable period for the first quarter of 2005.

The Fund's EBITDA(i) for the three-months ended September 30, 2005 was $10.6 million, an increase of $6.7 million from the prior year period, again due primarily to the addition of the results of the Cogen Facilities. Excluding the quarterly results of Ripon and other Ripon-related expenses, EBITDA would have been $3.9 million in the third quarter compared to $3.9 million in the prior year period. In the first nine months of 2005, EBITDA was $18.0 million.

Net income in the quarterly period ended September 30, 2005, was $5.2 million or $0.35 per unit, compared with $2.7 million or $0.18 per unit in the comparable period of 2004. Net income was $9.1 million or $0.61 per unit for the nine months ended September 30, 2005.

Distributable cash(i) available for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2005 was $6.2 million. Excluding the quarterly results of the Cogen Facilities and other Ripon-related expenses, distributable cash would have been $3.8 million, in line with the $3.8 million in the comparable period last year. In the nine-month period, distributable cash was $13.8 million and distributions declared were $11.5 million. Prior to the acquisition of the Cogen Facilities, distributable cash flow for the Fund was at its highest during the first and fourth quarters, reflecting the peak season demand for customer heating at our District Energy Systems. As a result of the acquisition of the Cogen Facilities, distributable cash for the Fund is expected to be at its highest in the third quarter when capacity payments under the power purchase agreements are at peak pricing.

With Without Without
Cogen Cogen Cogen
Facilities Facilities Facilities
9/30/05 9/30/05 9/30/04

Revenues 26,754 6,931 6,714

Total Operating and
Maintenance 13,620 2,212 2,163
Total General and
Administrative 2,569 841 690

EBITDA 10,565 3,878 3,861


Subsequent to quarter-end, the Fund and its direct subsidiary entered into an agreement to sell, to a syndicate of underwriters including CIBC World Markets, RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities Inc, National Bank Financial and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., 4,720,000 trust units to raise gross proceeds of $44 million and US$55 million through 6.25% exchangeable unsecured subordinated debentures due October 31, 2012. Countryside will use the net proceeds from the offering to repay indebtedness associated with the acquisition of the Cogen Facilities, to acquire debt owing by the subsidiary that holds the Cogen Facilities, to pay certain expenses in connection with the offering and for general corporate purposes. Closing of the offering is scheduled on or about November 14, 2005.

"The offering provides the Fund with a competitive and permanent capital structure that will significantly mitigate both interest rate and foreign exchange risk," said Edward M. Campana, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Countryside Ventures LLC.

Conference Call and Webcast

Management will host a conference call at 10 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, November 10, 2005 to discuss the results. Please call 416-644-3416 or 1-866-249-1964 to access the call.

The call will be webcast live and archived on the Countryside web site at

Countryside's financial statements for the period and management's discussion and analysis are available at

(i) Non-GAAP Measures

Distributable cash does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and is therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Since the Fund and its subsidiaries distribute substantially all of their available cash on an on-going basis, management believes that distributable cash is an important measure in evaluating the performance of the Fund and determining whether to invest in units of the Fund. For a reconciliation of cash provided by operating activities from the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows to distributable cash please see the Fund's MD&A for the period ended September 30, 2005.

Earnings before interest, income taxes, unrealized interest rate swap and unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses, and depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") is not a measure under Canadian GAAP and there is no standardized measure of EBITDA and therefore, it may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other funds or companies. Management uses EBITDA as a key measure of operating performance, and thus has framed a portion of the MD&A comments accordingly. EBITDA can be calculated from the Fund's GAAP statements as operating income, plus depreciation and amortization.

Countryside Power Income Fund has investments in two district energy systems in Canada, with a combined thermal and electric generation capacity of approximately 122 megawatts, and two gas-fired cogeneration plants in California with a combined power generation capacity of 94 megawatts. In addition, the Fund has an indirect investment in 22 renewable power and energy projects located in the United States, which currently have approximately 51 megawatts of electric generation capacity and sold approximately 750,000 MMBtus of boiler fuel in 2004. The Fund's investment in the projects consists of loans to, and a convertible royalty interest in, U.S. Energy Biogas Corp.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to expected future events and financial and operating results of the Fund that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including market and general economic conditions and the risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Fund's prospectus filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Due to the potential impact of these factors, the Fund disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.

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