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Fortis posts healthy profit, aided by settlement on Newfoundland rights

Stan Marshall, CEO of Fortis Inc., at the Seal Cove Power plant in 2012.

Paul Daly/paul daly The Globe and Mail

Fortis Inc. says a settlement of claims against the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador made a significant contributed to its bottom line in the first quarter.

The St. John's-based electricity and natural gas distributor and power generation company says it earned net income of $151-million or 76 cents per diluted common share in the most recent period. That was up from $121-million or 62 cents in the first quarter of 2012.

Revenue in the quarter ended March 31 totalled $1.11-billion, down from $1.15-billion.

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Fortis said quarterly earnings were helped by an extraordinary gain of some $22-million net of tax, or 12 cents per common share, related to the settlement over the government's expropriation in December 2008 of non-regulated hydroelectric generating assets and water rights in central Newfoundland.

The rights were then owned by Exploits River Hydro Partnership, in which Fortis holds an indirect 51 per cent interest.

"In addition to the settlement of expropriation matters relating to Exploits Partnership, performance for the quarter was driven by the regulated utilities in Western Canada, led by FortisAlberta," president and CEO Stan Marshall said in a statement.

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