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Hydro-Quebec reports increased profits despite difficult economy

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada 4/3/12 (PennWell) -- Hydro-Quebec has exceeded the projections of its strategic plan with a net income of more than US$2.6 billion, the Montreal-based power company says in its recently released annual report.

The figure is up nearly $100 million from 2010, Hydro-Quebec says, allowing the utility to pay a dividend of almost $2 billion to the Quebec government, which acts as a shareholder.

The company says that its customers in Quebec benefitted from a 0.41% rate cut and an increase of $214 million in sales.

Meanwhile, the company's net electricity exports grew by $100 million.

"This sustained improvement allowed us both to absorb cost increases stemming from inflation, salary indexation and growth of our operating assets," says Hydro-Quebec President and Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vandal.

Hydro-Quebec's operating expenses have also been reduced by $89 million, according to Vandal.

The company recently awarded a contract worth $54 million to Alstom to modernize its 5,616-MW Robert-Bourassa hydroelectric facility.

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