Hydro One Q2 profit plunges 23% as electricity revenue falls, costs rise

Hydro One Ltd.'s second-quarter profit fell by nearly 23 per cent from last year to $155 million as the electricity utility experienced higher weather-related costs for vegetation control and storm-related power restoration. Hydro crews work to restore power following a tornado in Dunrobin, Ont., west of Ottawa, on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO - Hydro One Ltd.'s second-quarter profit fell by nearly 23 per cent from last year to $155 million as the electricity utility reported spending more on tree-trimming work due to milder temperatures that also saw customers using less power.

The Toronto-based company — which operates most of Ontario's power grid — says its net earnings attributable to shareholders dropped to 26 cents per share from 34 cents per share when Hydro One had $200 million in net income.

Adjusted net income was also 26 cents per share, down from 33 cents per diluted share in the second quarter of 2018.

Revenue was $1.41 billion, down from $1.48 billion, while revenue net of purchased power was $760 million, down from $803 million.

Analysts had estimated $1.44 billion of revenue and 27 cents per share of adjusted income, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The publicly traded company, of which the Ontario government is the largest shareholder, says its quarterly dividend will remain at 24.15 cents per share for its next payment to shareholders in September.

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Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the utility spent more money on storm-related power restoration. In fact, it spent more on non-storm related power outages. It also said the adjusted net income was down from 32 cents per diluted share, rather than 33 cents. It also said the Ontario government controlled the company, when in fact the government is the largest shareholder.

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