Hot weather increases CUC sales

The Caribbean Utilities Company has
credited warmer than usual weather between April and June for a 24 per cent increase
in earnings for the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period
last year when the company said Cayman experienced colder than average

According to its quarterly
financial report, the company’s net earnings for the three months ended June
30, 2010, were US$6.2 million – an increase of 24 per cent, or US$1.2 million
compared to net earnings of US$5 million for April-June, 2009.

In a letter to shareholders, the
company’s president and CEO Richard Hew wrote: “Despite the positive quarter in
respect of sales, the company recognises that this is mainly weather related as
the Island continues to experience challenging economic circumstances
inhibiting underlying growth.

“The company continues to monitor
the economic circumstances affecting the island and to be conservative with its
capital and operating expenditures while maintaining the focus on reliable
service delivery.”

According to a press release from
CUC, the company has been implementing cost control measures, including
recruitment and salary freezes.

Mr. Hew said that June, in
particular, was a very hot month with average temperatures of 86 degrees
Fahrenheit recorded, compared to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in June 2009.

The company announced its unaudited
second quarter results, ending 30 June, 2010, on Wednesday, 5 August.

Electricity sales

CUC reported that its electricity
sales for the quarter totalled 149.8 million kilowatt hours, compared to 142.2
million kilowatt hours for the three months ended 30 June, 2009 – an increase
of 5 per cent.

For the six months ended 30 June,
2010, CUC’s electricity sales increased by 4 per cent to 273.2 kilowatt hours,
compared to 262.3 kilowatt hours for the six months ended 30 June, 2009.

The company has also signed up
hundreds of new customers in the past year. CUC said it connected 749 new
customers between 30 June, 2009 and 30 June, 2010. Of these, 678 customers were
added to the residential category and 71 customers to the commercial category.

This brought the total number of
customers as of 30 June this year to 25,817, an increase of 3 per cent over the
25,068 customers at same time last year.

CUC also reported that its new
system peak load of 102.1 megawatts was recorded in June 2010, up 8.2 per cent
from the peak load of 94.4 megawatts recorded in June 2009.

In a company press release, Mr. Hew
said: “Real underlying sales growth on the Island has slowed considerably and
we remain conservative with respect to the outlay of capital or other
discretionary expenditures in advance of a sustained recovery of the Cayman
Islands economy. However, we will continue our efforts to deliver reliable
service to our customers.”

During the quarter, the company
reported that it had reached a new reliability peak average system availability
index rating of 99.99 per cent as compared to 99.91 per cent in the second
quarter of 2009.

After the adjustment for dividends
on the Class B preference shares of the company, earnings on Class A ordinary
shares for the second quarter of 2010 were US$6.1 million, or US$0.21 per Class
A ordinary share, compared to US$4.9 million, or US$0.18 per Class A ordinary
share for the second quarter 2009.

Earnings on Class A ordinary shares
for the first half of 2010 were US$8.4 million, or US$0.29 per Class A ordinary
share, as compared to US$7.3 million, or US$0.26 per Class A ordinary share for
the first half of 2009.

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