Higher than average temperatures in May and June helped drive up electricity sales for the Caribbean Utilities Company, pushing its operating income to a US$0.5 million increase in the second quarter of this year.

The company announced on Friday its unaudited results for the three months ending 30 June 2019.

CUC president and CEO Richard Hew, said in a statement, “Electricity sales have been robust over the first half of the year, driven by growth in customer numbers, a strong economy and above normal temperatures, particularly in May and June.”

According to CUC, the average monthly temperature for Q2 2019 was 84 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to an average monthly temperature of 83 degrees for Q2 2018. The warmer temperatures meant an increase in the use of air conditioning.

In its announcement, CUC said the increase in income was “primarily attributable to higher electricity sales revenues, which was partially offset by higher depreciation expenses”.

Hew said the company was continuing to invest in infrastructure to meet growing customer demand and to serve reliably.

Refurbishments to CUC’s Rum Point and Bodden Town substations have been completed and the new Seven Mile Beach substation construction is expected to be completed later this year, Hew said. Meanwhile, construction of the new Prospect substation has also commenced.

The company’s net earnings for Q2 2019 totalled US$7.9 million, an increase of US$0.9 million from the US$7.0 million for Q2 2018. In addition to the items impacting Operating Income, Net Earnings were also positively impacted by lower finance charges, driven by higher Allowance for Funds Used During Construction, the company stated.

After the adjustment for dividends on the preference shares of the Company, earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares for Q2 2019 were US$7.8 million, or US$0.24 per share, compared to earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares of US$6.9 million, or US$0.21 per share for Q2 2018.

CUC president and CEO Richard Hew

The company’s sales for the second three months of 2019 totalled 173.0 million kWh, an increase of 13.3 million kWh in comparison to the 159.7 million kilowatt hours sold in Q2 2018, driven by an increase in the average residential and commercial kWh consumption.

CUC also noted an increase in its number of customers in the second quarter. The total number of customers as at 30 June were 30,100, an increase of 723 customers, or 2%, compared to 29,377 customers as at June 30, 2018.

On 17 June 2019, the company experienced a new system peak demand of 113.3 megawatts. Prior years’ peak demand was 105.6 MW (2017) and 103.6 MW (2018). The Company’s installed generating capacity is 161 MW and other renewable capacity connected to the grid increased to 9.4 MW in June 2019 from 7.9 MW in June 2018.

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