Montreal, February 24, 2022
Hydro-Québec makes its largest contribution to Québec’s collective prosperity thanks to the economic recovery
In a presentation on its financial results for 2021, Hydro-Québec announced that it posted net income of $3,564 million, compared to $2,303 million the previous year. This represents the company’s best performance ever for continuing operations. The $1,261-million increase over 2020 is mainly due to buoyancy in all its markets, which drove net electricity sales to a historic high, and to a decrease in financial expenses.
“Our 2021 results are set against a backdrop of economic recovery,” stated Hydro-Québec’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Sophie Brochu. “Our financial performance was supported by our strong operational performance, made possible by all the men and women at Hydro-Québec whose ongoing commitment allows us to make a sustainable contribution to Québec’s collective wealth.”
“It is worth mentioning that net exports had a major impact on our bottom line in 2021 since they accounted for 17% of our net sales volume, but generated nearly a quarter of our net income,” added Hydro-Québec’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jean-Hugues Lafleur. “As a result, they contributed significantly to the $2,673-million dividend that we will pay to the Québec government, which is the largest in our history.”
In addition to the presentation of its results for the past year, Hydro-Québec also announced today that it is implementing a new corporate structure designed to maximize cooperation and agility within the company. The aim of this new structure, which is inspired by the organization’s value chain, is to support the energy transition as efficiently as possible.
- Record electricity sales on the Québec market:
- Growth in demand from business customers with the gradual economic recovery that followed the progressive easing of public health measures
- Solid performance on export markets:
- $865-million contribution of exports to net income, up more than 60% compared to 2020
- Second time in Hydro-Québec’s history that net exports exceed 35 TWh
- Average price obtained: 4.7¢/kWh versus 4.2¢/kWh the previous year
- Significant increase in investments in the equipment fleet:
- $4.2 billion invested in all regions of Québec
- Increase of more than 25% over 2020
- Significant rise in investments allocated to asset reliability and sustainment
- Appreciable contribution to the Québec government’s revenue:
- Total amount: $4.9 billion
- Favorable context for financing activities:
- Market environment marked by low long-term interest rates
- Eight fixed-rate bond issues maturing in 2060, at an average cost of 2.72%
- Total proceeds: $3.4 billion
On the Québec market, net electricity sales increased by $444 million compared to 2020, mainly on account of higher baseload demand from business customers as a result of the gradual economic recovery that followed the progressive easing of public health measures. An increase in aluminum prices, which have an impact on revenue from special contracts with certain large industrial customers, also contributed to electricity sales growth in Québec.
On markets outside Québec, net electricity exports jumped by $333 million to $1,658 million. This significant rise is primarily due to favorable market conditions stemming in particular from an overall increase in energy prices as well as warmer temperatures in our external markets, which allowed us to seize business opportunities. It is also attributable to volume growth of nearly 15% resulting in part from greater needs on these markets, where demand had dropped the previous year because of the pandemic.
Lastly, recognition of the other components of employee future benefit cost related to the Pension Plan yielded a positive variance of $247 million over 2020, while financial expenses declined by $235 million.
Our investment program totaled $4.2 billion in 2021, compared to $3.4 billion the previous year, when the public health crisis had had a significant impact on our jobsites. Most of this amount was allocated to large-scale asset sustainment projects and to major development projects in the Generation and Transmission segments.
The main projects underway include the ongoing construction and connection of the Romaine hydroelectric complex (1,550 MW) in the Côte-Nord region. On the last jobsite, Romaine-4 (245 MW), work progressed in 2021 in view of the commissioning of the generating station in 2022. At the start of the year, we also launched construction of the 735-kV line between Micoua substation, in the Côte-Nord region, and Saguenay substation, in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. This new line, which will run 262 km, will help maintain the reliability and improve the operational flexibility of Hydro-Québec’s transmission system, while also reducing electrical losses.
For more information on Hydro-Québec’s 2021 financial results, visit www.hydroquebec.com/ar.
Caroline Des Rosiers
Tel.: 514 289-5005