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Alberta-based Canadian Utilities and parent Atco report lower profit

The Canadian Press

CALGARY - Canadian Utilities Ltd. and parent company Atco Ltd. both reported lower second-quarter earnings, as it was hurt by lower power prices and increased natural gas costs.

Canadian Utilities said Monday that i earned a second-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of $115 million, compared with $160 million in the same period of 2013. Earnings per share were 39 cents versus 59 cents year-over-year.

Adjusted earnings for Canadian Utilities were $85 million in the quarter compared with $131 million in the same quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, Atco Ltd. (TSX:ACO.X) reported a second-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of $66 million or 57 cents per share, down from $98 million or 85 cents per share a year ago.

Atco had adjusted earnings of $57 million in the quarter compared with $89 million in the same quarter of 2013.

The companies said the decline in adjusted earnings was primarily due to a 66 per cent drop in the average Alberta power pool price compared with a year ago and higher natural gas costs.

They also said the results were hit by a charge due to a decision by the Alberta Utilities Commission on information technology, customer care and billing services.

Revenues for Canadian Utilities (TSX:CU) were $856 million for the three months ended June 30 compared with $845 million in the same period last year.

Revenues for Atco were also up at $1.11 billion compared with $1.081 billion year-over-year.

Canadian Utilities accounts for the largest share of Atco's revenue, earnings and operations. Canadian Utilities owns most of the main Atco subsidiaries and about 25 per cent of their Structures and Logistics joint venture.