Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

April 07, 2009 15:41 ET

Hydro Ottawa Declares $17 Million Dividend for 2008

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - The Board of Directors of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (Hydro Ottawa) has declared dividends totaling $17.2 million based on the company's 2008 performance and the final gain on the sale of Telecom Ottawa in May 2008.

The announcement caps off a very strong year for Hydro Ottawa that also saw the company recognized by the Ontario Energy Association for Leadership and Corporate Performance, and named as one of the National Capital Region's Top 25 Employers.

"We are very proud of the company's performance in 2008, and in particular its financial performance," said Pierre Richard, Q.C., Chair of the Board of Directors. "It enables us to deliver a strong dividend to our shareholder, while continuing to invest in sustainable electrical infrastructure in our community."

The higher than expected dividend results from productivity gains in all business lines, higher than expected renewable energy generation from Energy Ottawa, and continued customer growth within Hydro Ottawa's service territory.

Of the $17.2 million total dividends, $15.2 million was paid based on net income from continuing operations, $1.1 million based on partial year net income from Telecom Ottawa, and $900,000 on the gain on the sale of Telecom Ottawa, adding to a $12 million dividend that was paid on that gain in July 2008.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt rating for Hydro Ottawa to 'A' (stable) from 'A-' during 2008, while the Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) annual rating remained at A (low).

"This was an extremely good year for Hydro Ottawa, and the company is well positioned for continuing success in the future," said President and CEO, Rosemarie Leclair. "It demonstrates that Hydro Ottawa is a solid financial investment for our shareholder."

The dividend is in accordance with the dividend policy established by Hydro Ottawa's shareholder, the City of Ottawa, which targets dividends at the greater of 60% of annual net income or $14 million.

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