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Press release from PR Newswire

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Announces 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year End Financial Results

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Announces 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year End Financial Results21:26 EST Thursday, March 08, 2012 OAKVILLE, ON, March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX: AQN), today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, with annual results showing increased revenue, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") and net earnings compared to the previous year. Fourth Quarter and Year End Financial Highlights: For the fourth quarter of 2011, revenue was $72.1 million as compared to $48.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase in revenue over the same period in 2010 is primarily the result of a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities Co. ("Liberty Utilities") acquiring a California-based electricity distribution utility and related generation assets ("CalPeco") at the beginning of 2011, the effect of increased wind resources compared to the comparable period in 2010, and revenue increases from rate case approvals for Liberty Utilities' rate regulated water businesses. For the year 2011, APUC generated revenue of $276.6 million as compared to $180.4 million in 2010. Adjusted EBITDA ("Adjusted EBITDA") was $24.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to $20.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  The increase in Adjusted EBITDA is primarily related to the acquisition of CalPeco, revenue increases from rate case approvals in Liberty Utilities' rate regulated businesses, and improved wind resources at Algonquin Power Co.'s ("APCo") renewable energy facilities. APUC generated Adjusted EBITDA of $105.2 million for the year 2011 as compared to $75.1 million in 2010. APUC reported a net loss attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2011 of $8.5 million or $0.07 per share as compared to net earnings of $15.6 million or $0.17 per share for the fourth quarter of 2010.  The net loss in the fourth quarter was due to certain accounting write downs of intangible assets and property plant and equipment.  For the year 2011, APUC reported net earnings attributable to shareholders of $23.4 million or $0.20 per share as compared to $18.0 million or $0.19 per share in 2010.  APUC reported adjusted net earnings of $6.7 million or $0.05 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to adjusted net earnings of $18.2 million or $0.19 per share in the fourth quarter of 2010. APUC reported adjusted net earnings of $41.6 million or $0.36 per share for the year 2011 as compared to adjusted net earnings of $22.5 million or $0.24 per share in 2010. Performance, Operational, and Growth Highlights: In the fourth quarter of 2011, APCo's Quebec, New England, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Maritime regions experienced hydrologic resources significantly higher than long-term averages while the Western, Ontario and New York regions experienced resources below long-term averages. During the fourth quarter, the rate regulated water businesses owned by Liberty Utilities experienced revenue increases in both its water distribution and wastewater treatment business of 28% and 6% respectively.  The increases are primarily due to the implementation of rate increases at several facilities during 2010 and increased customer demand. During the fourth quarter, revenue from net energy sales generated by Liberty Utilities' electric utility totalled U.S. $7.6 million.  As this utility was acquired on January 1, 2011 there are no comparable results for 2010. Recently, APUC announced the award of a 177 MW 25 year rate-escalated power purchase agreement for the Chaplin Wind project in Saskatchewan. The project will consist of approximately 77 multi-megawatt wind turbines and is expected to generate EBITDA of $37.5 million in the first full year of operation.  The project contributes positively to the long term contracted nature of APCo's renewable energy portfolio. During the quarter, APUC announced its entry into the solar energy business with a 10 MWac solar project located near Cornwall, Ontario. The project has been granted an Ontario Feed-in-Tarriff contract by the Ontario Power Authority, with a 20 year term and a rate of $443/MWhr, resulting in expected initial annual revenues of approximately $6.2 million. Construction of the project is expected to begin in the latter half of 2012 with a commercial operation date in early 2013. During the quarter, APUC completed a public offering (the "Offering") of 16,879,000 common shares at a price of $5.65 per share, for gross proceeds of approximately $95.3 million.  The net proceeds of the Offering will be used to fund a portion of the investment related to previously announced growth initiatives for both Liberty Utilities and APCo to partially repay existing indebtedness and for other general corporate purposes. Subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter, on January 19, 2012, Liberty Utilities entered into an agreement for a U.S. $80 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility with a three year term. Initially, U.S. $25 million will be available to support the current operations of Liberty Utilities. The additional U.S. $55 million will be available to Liberty Utilities following the closing of the previously announced energy acquisitions in New Hampshire. Also subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter, on February 24, 2012, APUC redeemed $57 million of 6.35% Series 2A Convertible Debentures, representing the remaining issued and outstanding debentures by issuing and delivering 9,836,520 APUC shares. With APUC's lower cost of capital, redeeming the debentures for equity is an accretive transaction for APUC on both an earnings per share and cash flow per share basis, and further strengthens APUC's investment grade balance sheet. "We are pleased at being able to deliver total returns to our shareholders of over 34% over the last year", commented Chief Executive Officer Ian Robertson. "We continue to be focused on the strategic growth of our businesses at the same time maintaining the strong operational performance from our existing portfolio of power generating assets and regulated utilities." APUC's supplemental information is available on the web site at www.algonquinpowerandutilities.com. APUC will hold an earnings conference call at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on Friday, March 9, 2012, hosted by Chief Executive Officer, Ian Robertson and Chief Financial Officer, David Bronicheski. Conference call details are as follows: Date: Friday, March 9, 2012 Start Time: 10:00 a.m. eastern Phone Number: Toll free within North America: 1-800-814-4859 or Local 416-644-3414. Conference ID#: 4507938 For those unable to attend the live call, a digital recording will be available for replay two hours after the call by dialing 1-877-289-8525 or 416-640-1917 access code 4507938# from March 9, 2012 until March 23, 2012. About Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Through its distinct operating subsidiaries, APUC owns and operates a diversified portfolio of $1.2 billion of clean renewable electric generation and sustainable utility distribution businesses in North America. Liberty Utilities Co., APUC's regulated distribution utility business, provides regulated water and electric utility services to more than 120,000 customers with a portfolio of 22 water and electric utility systems. Pursuant to previously announced agreements, Liberty Utilities Co. is committed to acquiring Granite State Electric Company, a New Hampshire electric distribution company, EnergyNorth Natural Gas Inc., a regulated natural gas distribution utility and certain regulated natural gas distribution assets in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, which together serve approximately 213,000 customers. Algonquin Power Co. (APCo), APUC's electric generation subsidiary, includes 45 renewable energy facilities and 12 thermal energy facilities representing more than 460 MW of installed capacity. APUC and its operating subsidiaries deliver continuing growth through an expanding pipeline of greenfield and expansion renewable power and clean energy projects, organic growth within its regulated utilities and the pursuit of accretive acquisition opportunities. APUC's common shares and convertible debentures are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols AQN and AQN.DB.B. Visit Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. at www.AlgonquinPowerandUtilities.com. Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information Certain statements included in this news release contain information that is forward-looking within the meaning of certain securities laws, including information and statements regarding prospective results of operations, financial position or cash flows. These statements are based on factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection, including assumptions based on historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments. Since forward-looking statements relate to future events and conditions, by their very nature they require making assumptions and involve inherent risks and uncertainties. APUC cautions that although it is believed that the assumptions are reasonable in the circumstances, these risks and uncertainties give rise to the possibility that actual results may differ materially from the expectations set out in the forward-looking statements. Material risk factors include those set out in the management's discussion and analysis section of APUC's most recent annual report, quarterly report, and APUC's Annual Information Form. Given these risks, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of their dates. Other than as specifically required by law, APUC undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise. SOURCE Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.For further information: <p> Kelly Castledine<br/> Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.<br/> 2845 Bristol Circle, Oakville, Ontario, L6H 7H7<br/> Telephone:  (905) 465-4500<br/> Website: <a href="http://www.AlgonquinPowerandUtilities.com">www.AlgonquinPowerandUtilities.com</a> </p>