The $234-million increase was mainly the result of higher net electricity exports by Hydro-Qu├ębec Production. In 2008, these exports, which accounted for 8.2% of sales volume, generated 32% of income from the company's continuing operations.
"2008 was a good year for Hydro-Qu├ębec: increased exports and higher export prices, an additional gain of $126 million resulting from a price adjustment related to the sale of our Chilean assets in 2006, and effective management throughout the company enabled us to earn more than $3 billion in net income and pay a $2,252-million dividend to the Qu├ębec government," said Lise Croteau, Vice President, Accounting and Control at Hydro-Qu├ębec.
Revenue totaled $12,717 million in 2008, up 3%. Revenue from electricity sales rose by $379 million to reach $12,364 million.
In Qu├ębec, revenue from electricity sales amounted to $10,445 million, compared to $10,368 million in 2007. The $77-million increase was attributable to rate adjustments, mitigated by the effect of milder temperatures in 2008 than in 2007 and by a decrease in demand, particularly in the industrial category.
On markets outside Qu├ębec, revenue from electricity sales totaled $1,919 million, up $302 million as a result of a 3.6-TWh increase in the volume of exports by Hydro-Qu├ębec Production and highly favorable market conditions.
Total expenditure amounted to $7,260 million, up $324 million over 2007.
This increase stems mainly from the higher amortization expense for the regulatory assets and liabilities of Hydro-Qu├ębec Distribution arising from variances in transmission and electricity procurement costs and a $285-million increase in water-power royalties paid by Hydro-Qu├ębec Production. These items were partially offset by a reduction in electricity purchases in excess of the heritage pool by Hydro-Qu├ębec Distribution.
Operating expenses were down $44 million or 1.7%, chiefly due to a decrease in pension costs and to company-wide efficiency gains.
In 2008, Hydro-Qu├ębec invested $4.0 billion, compared to $3.6 billion in 2007. Most of this amount was devoted to the growth and development projects of Hydro-Qu├ębec Production, Hydro-Qu├ębec TransEnergie and Hydro-Qu├ębec Distribution, as well as the continued implementation of the Energy Efficiency Plan.