MONTREAL - Hydro-Quebec's net earnings increased 20 per cent to $464 million in the second quarter, largely due to higher net electricity exports.
The public utility's revenues for the three months ended June 30 were $2.86 billion, up 7.7 per cent from $2.65 billion a year earlier.
Revenues from exports increased 50 per cent to $381 million, while sales inside the province grew 6.9 per cent to $2.4 billion.
Hydro-Quebec earned $435 million from continuing operations, up 8.2 per cent from the prior year. Discontinued operations — the Gentilly-2 nuclear plant that will close — generated $29 million in profits, reversing a $16-million loss in the second quarter of 2012.
For the first half of the year, the utility earned $1.8 billion on $6.8 billion of revenues. That compares with $1.7 billion on $6.39 billion of revenues in the prior year.
"We are proud of the results, but the year isn't finished," Lise Croteau, vice-president of accounting and control, said in a conference call Friday, adding that Hydro-Quebec's performance is "greatly influenced by (unforeseen) climatic events."
A 2.4 per cent rate increase as of April 1 added $41 million in revenue, but will be used to offset higher distribution costs. Hydro-Quebec has applied to the energy regulator for a 3.4 per cent rate increase as of next April to support the province's decision to continue to develop wind power in Gaspe and to index domestic electricity prices starting next year.
The increase would add about $50 to the annual electricity bill for a small home and about $100 for a larger home.
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