Brookfield Infrastructure Partners credited a big gain related to its merger with Prime Infrastructure in December for posting a major increase in its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.
The Bermuda-based company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said it earned $416 million, or $3.48 per unit, in the three months ended Dec. 31 as compared with a loss of $45 million, or 58 cents per unit, in the same 2009 quarter.
The big increase in net income was "primarily by the revaluation gain associated with the Prime merger," the company said in results posted on its website, which showed the company recorded fair value gains of $433 million.
On Dec. 8, Brookfield Infrastructure completed its merger with Prime Infrastructure in a deal in which just under 51 million limited partnership units were issued to former security holders of Prime Infrastructure. There now are approximately 157.4 million units outstanding, with Brookfield Asset Management Inc. owning about a 30 per cent interest in Brookfield Infrastructure.
For the full year, net earnings were $467 million or $4.25 per unit, versus $25 million or 52 cents per unit in 2009.
Brookfield Infrastructure declared an increase in its quarterly distribution to 31 cents US per unit, up from 27 cents.
"We are pleased to announce a 13 per cent increase in our distribution," said CEO Sam Pollock.
"The growth prospects of Brookfield Infrastructure have increased substantially following the merger. As a result, we believe the business is positioned to meet or exceed the high end of our long-term distribution growth target for the next several years."
"As we enter 2011, we are well positioned to continue expanding our business with the substantial growth opportunities within our operations."