Higher pricing and margins helped TransAlta Corp. improve its bottom line in the third quarter despite a drop in revenue, the Alberta-based energy provider said Friday.
TransAlta said earnings were $50 million or 22 cents per share in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $40 million or 18 cents in the same 2010 period.
The decrease from comparable earnings was primarily due to de-designated power hedges that were deemed to no longer qualify for hedge accounting, the company said in a release.
Excluding that, comparable profits would have been 61 cents or 27 cents per share, a 50 per cent increase over the prior-year period.
Revenue was $629 million down from $651 million.
Stronger comparable results were driven by higher hydro and wind margins, higher pricing in Alberta and the addition of the Keephills Unit 3 as well as higher energy trading gross margins, the company said.
That was partly offset by higher planned and unplanned outages at TransAlta's Alberta coal facilities and higher planned outages at our natural gas-fired facilities.
“Our third quarter results reflect the ongoing benefits of a diversified fleet that allowed us to optimize our portfolio despite poor market conditions in the Pacific Northwest,” president and CEO Steve Snyder said in a statement accompanying the results.
“We continue to make strong advances over last year and the majority of our planned maintenance for this year is now behind us.”
TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company with geothermal, wind, hydro, natural gas and coal-fired power assets in Canada, the United States and Australia.