CALGARY (CP) -- Power producer TransAlta Corp. reported a second-quarter profit of C$24.8 million Thursday, down slightly from a year ago when it sold its transmission assets.
The Calgary-based company earned C13 cents per share for the three months ended June 30. That compared C$25.1 million or C13 cents per share a year ago, when there was a C$9.6-million one-time gain.
The consensus forecast, according to Thomson Financial, was for a profit of 11 cents a share.
Quarterly revenue jumped to C$621.2 million in the three months ended June 30, from C$592.9 million in the same period of 2004.
''The combination of good availability and successful monitoring of the market by our energy marketing team enabled us to capture the market upside,'' CEO Stephen Snyder told a conference call with analysts.
''Good cost-control in our plants and execution on our major maintenance activities also support the earnings improvement.''
Snyder said a large part of the improvement in the company's earnings came from its energy marketing group, which trades electricity and other energy-related commodities.
The energy marketing group posted C$18.3 million in operating income in the quarter, up from C$10.7 million a year ago.
''For the balance of the year we will continue to maintain the disciplined approach we have consistently delivered with our trading operations,'' Snyder said.
In its outlook, the company said it expects electricity spot prices for the remainder of 2005 to be comparable to or higher than those in the first half of 2005 in all markets, with expectations for higher natural gas prices, weaker hydroelectrical power generation and stronger seasonal power demand.
TransAlta said capital expenditures for 2005 are expected to be between C$360 million and C$375 million, with about C$140 million earmarked for major maintenance, C$100 million for the Alberta and Centralia mines and about C$45 million to complete the Genesee 3 project and expand capacity in Australia.
The company expects to spend between C$205 million and C$220 million on planned maintenance.
For the six months ended June 30, TransAlta earned C$76.5 million or C39 cents per share on revenue of C$1.31 billion. That compared with a profit of C$72.3 million or C38 cents per share on revenue of C$1.25 billion in the same period a year ago.
TransAlta [TSX:TA] has coal-fired, natural gas-fired, hydro and renewable generation assets in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia.
Its shares were down three cents at C$21.78 in Thursday afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
(c) The Canadian Press 2005