Atco, Canadian Utilities report higher earnings

July 27 Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:22am EDT

July 27 (Reuters) - Atco Ltd and its unit Canadian Utilities Ltd posted higher second-quarter earnings, boosted by higher income from their natural gas distribution utility in Western Australia.

Atco bought an Australian gas distributor, now called ATCO Australia, in July 2011.

Net profit at Atco rose 20 percent to C$73 million, or C$1.28 per share, from C$61 million, or C$1.07 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, ATCO, which owns and operates majority of Western Australia's reticulated gas infrastructure, earned C$74 million.

Canadian Utilities earnings rose 7 percent to C$105 million, or 74 Canadian cents per share, from C$98 million, or 70 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue at Atco rose 12 percent to C$981 billion, while Canadian utilities saw a 6 percent rise in revenue at C$706 million.

The Alberta-based companies operate utilities, structures and logistics, and energy businesses such as power plants, pipelines, power distribution and infrastructure.

Atco said earnings were offset by planned maintenance outages at two of its power generation plants.

Atco shares closed at C$74.78 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Canadian Utilities shares closed at C$71.03.

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