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[cdn-nucl-l] Cameco Reports Increased Earnings from Bruce Power in Q1
Posted on the Cameco email news alert on April 25, 2003 and at:
Cameco Reports Increased Earnings from Bruce Power in Q1
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, April 25, 2003
Cameco Corporation today announced its interest in the Bruce Power Limited
Partnership will contribute $49 million of pre-tax earnings ($33 million
after tax or $0.59 per share) to its first quarter results. Cameco's
interest in Bruce Power was 15% from January 1 to February 13, 2003 and
Cameco's full first quarter results will be released on May 2, 2003. Cameco
reports its share of Bruce Power results today to coordinate with the
announcement of TransCanada PipeLines Ltd.'s first quarter results, which
also included earnings from Bruce Power.
Bruce Power Earnings
Bruce Power's results were exceptionally strong due to two factors:
the four Bruce B units achieved an aggregate capacity factor of 100% for the
entire quarter, the best performance in the plant's history, and
the spot price of electricity was higher due to the severe winter weather
experienced in Ontario.
For the first quarter in 2003, Bruce Power's average selling price was about
$57 per megawatt hour (MWh) from a mix of contract and spot sales.
Approximately 45% of Bruce Power's output was sold into Ontario's wholesale
spot market in the first quarter. As a baseload generator, Bruce Power does
not set prices in the Ontario market. In order to reduce its exposure to
spot market prices, Bruce Power has a portfolio of fixed price sales
contracts. For the remainder of 2003, approximately 10 terawatt hours of
output are currently covered by fixed price contracts.
Earnings from Bruce Power are directly affected by fluctuations in
electricity spot market prices as well as overall plant availability which,
in turn, is impacted by scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. During the
first quarter, there were no scheduled or unscheduled outages.
There is a planned maintenance outage at one of the four Bruce B units for
most of the second quarter 2003, which will reduce output accordingly.
Similarly, there is an approximate one month planned outage at one Bruce B
unit and one Bruce A unit in the third and fourth quarter 2003 respectively.
The two Bruce A units will begin the process of restarting around the end of
April and early June, with full production expected by the end May and June
As a result of additional efforts to bring the units online for the summer,
the direct project costs are expected to increase from the previous estimate
of $400 million. In addition, Cameco and the new partners have adopted a
more comprehensive method of reporting Bruce A restart costs, which includes
other related expenditures such as security, information technology and
other support functions as well as the direct project costs. Including these
site support expenditures, the total cost to restart the two Bruce A units
is expected to range from $525 to $550 million. Once online, the Bruce A
units are anticipated to perform in accordance with business plans.
Cameco's Share of Bruce Power Earnings
Earnings from Bruce Power will represent most of Cameco's first quarter
earnings. As previously disclosed, Cameco's earnings fluctuate from quarter
to quarter due to timing of uranium and conversion deliveries, which are at
the discretion of Cameco's customers. First quarter earnings from Cameco's
other businesses are expected, in total, to be modestly lower than in the
first quarter of 2002.
Cameco plans to hold a conference call on May 5, 2003 to discuss the full
quarter results. The details of the conference call will be included in the
May 2 news release.
Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world's
largest uranium supplier. The company's uranium products are used to
generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world, providing
one of the cleanest sources of energy available today. Cameco's shares trade
on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Statements contained in this news release which are not historical facts are
forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and other
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could
cause such differences, without limiting the generality of the following,
include: volatility and sensitivity to market prices for uranium,
electricity in Ontario and gold; the impact of the sales volume of uranium,
conversion services, electricity generated and gold; competition; the impact
of change in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates; imprecision
in reserve estimates; environmental and safety risks including increased
regulatory burdens; unexpected geological or hydrological conditions;
political risks arising from operating in certain developing countries; a
possible deterioration in political support for nuclear energy; changes in
government regulations and policies, including trade laws and policies;
demand for nuclear power; replacement of production and failure to obtain
necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; legislative and
regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation, regulation or restructuring
of the electric utility industry in Ontario; Ontario electricity rate
regulations; weather and other natural phenomena; ability to maintain and
further improve positive labour relations; operating performance of the
facilities; success of planned development projects; and other development
and operating risks. Although Cameco believes that the assumptions inherit
in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not
be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this
report. Cameco disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.
- End -
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