Hydro-Québec reports profits of $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2023, but clouds are looming on the horizon

Hydro-Québec reports profits of $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2023, but clouds are looming on the horizon

The Crown corporation reports record profits of $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2023, or $169 million more than the same period last year, but clouds are looming on the horizon.

The risk management strategy more than compensated for lower prices in export markets, according to Jean-Hugues Lafleur, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Hydro-Québec.

The average export price obtained by Hydro-Québec was 13.2¢ per kilowatthour. “However, we should not expect our results for the rest of the financial year to be as favorable, given that the fall in market prices should be felt more in the coming months”, warns -he.

In Quebec, electricity sales fell due in particular to a mild winter. The results were also weighed down by the increase in operating expenses, such as payroll and employee benefits, including pension plans.

Hydro-Quebec justifies these expenses by “the growth of the company’s activities aimed at improving the quality and reliability of service”.

Great River Hydro

It should be noted that the recent acquisition of Hydro-Québec in the United States, Great River Hydro, resulted in losses of $4 million during the quarter, due among other things to financial and legal costs related to the acquisition.

“But Great River Hydro, we don’t look at it on a profit basis. It doesn’t have much of an impact on our bottom line and that wasn’t the goal when we acquired it. We are aiming for the long term with this acquisition. Building thirteen hydroelectric plants in New England would have been impossible. However, we succeeded in acquiring these power stations, which had already been built,” explains Jean-Hughes Lafleur.

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