Montréal, May 12, 2023
Hydro-Québec posts net income of $2.2 billion for the first quarter of 2023
Hydro-Québec posted net income of $2,231 million for the first three months of 2023, up $169 million for the same period last year. This increase is mainly the result of significant growth in revenue from sales outside Québec, which was, however, mitigated by a decrease in electricity sales in Québec due to a milder winter and higher operational expenditure.
“Our excellent first-quarter financial performance is essentially due to the skillful deployment of our commercialization and risk management strategies related to our export activities,” commented Hydro-Québec’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jean-Hugues Lafleur. “Although energy market prices have fallen, our risk management strategy helped offset this setback, thereby contributing to a record-breaking quarterly net income. That said, it’s unlikely that we will perform as well over the remaining fiscal year, as lower market prices are expected to have a greater impact in the coming months. In fact, net income for 2023 as a whole is expected to be $4.0 billion, compared to $4.6 billion in 2022.”
- Markets outside Québec:
- The positive impact from the risk management strategy more than offset the lower prices in export markets.
- Average export price obtained (including hedging effect): 13.2¢/kWh
- Average market price: 3.9¢/kWh
- High export volume: 9.2 TWh
- Québec market:
- Warmer winter temperatures in 2023
- Mainly in January (9°C higher than in January 2022)
- $847 million invested in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets
- More than two-thirds of the investments allocated to asset sustainment
- Two fixed-rate issues for proceeds of $1.1 billion
- Medium-term notes maturing in 2029, at a cost of 3.39%: $0.6 billion
- Obligations maturing in 2063, at a cost of 3.93%: $0.5 billion
Electricity sales outside Québec totaled $1,239 million in the first quarter of 2023, up $593 million from the same period last year. On one hand, electricity exports reached $1,218 million—$572 million more than a year earlier. Prices on the energy markets dropped, in particular due to the warmer temperatures in the first three months of 2023. This setback was more than offset by the impact of the risk management strategy implemented to reduce price volatility. Thanks to this strategy, the company was able to benefit from the high forward prices in 2022. Further, despite lower demand due to milder temperatures, the commercialization strategies allowed Hydro-Québec to sell 9.2 TWh on export markets. On the other hand, once the acquisition of Great River Hydro was completed in February 2023, its activities have been consolidated into Hydro-Québec’s results, leading to the recognition of additional revenue of $21 million. Great River Hydro owns and operates 13 hydroelectric generating stations located in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
In Québec, sales brought in $234 million less than the $4,389 million recorded a year earlier, mainly due to milder temperatures, which resulted in a decrease of $343 million. This decrease was nonetheless partially offset by the indexation of rates on April 1, 2022, which generated a $96-million increase in revenues.
Operating expenditure rose by $106 million compared to the same period last year, because of a $71-million increase in total payroll resulting mainly from expansion in the company’s activities to improve service quality and reliability. This expansion was due in particular to the intensification of servicing and maintenance activities, in addition to an increase in expenditure related to digital services to meet Hydro-Québec’s increased business needs and support the company’s technological evolution. Furthermore, the completion of the acquisition of Great River Hydro in February 2023 led to a $19-million increase in operational expenditure compared to the corresponding period the previous year, due to the recognition of costs related to the purchase transaction and the consolidation of Great River Hydro’s activities as of the acquisition date.
Lastly, recognition of the other components of employee future benefit cost led to a negative variance of $83 million, which is essentially due to the increase in the interest on obligations in the context of rising long-term interest rates.
Additionally, Hydro-Québec invested $847 million in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets in the first three months of 2023, an amount comparable to the $856 million invested a year earlier. More than two-thirds of the amount invested in 2023 was allocated to large-scale sustainment of generation, transmission and distribution assets.
For more information on Hydro-Québec’s first-quarter 2023 results, visit https://www.hydroquebec.com/about/financial-results/quarterly-bulletin.html.
Caroline Des Rosiers
Tel.: 514 289-5005