MANITOBA Hydro lost $24 million in the first three months of its operating year, the Crown corporation said Wednesday.
Hydro blamed the loss on lower revenues from "spot market" power sales outside the province and higher operating costs.
Last year, Hydro earned a $6-million profit in its first quarter (April 1 to June 30), usually one of its poorer operating periods.
The corporation lost $14 million on electricity sales and $10 million on sales of natural gas.
The company said in a news release the natural gas losses were due to seasonal variations in demand and should be recouped over the winter heating season.
Last week, the Manitoba Public Utilities Board expressed concern about the corporation's finances while granting it a 2.5 per cent interim increase in electricity rates, effective Sept. 1.
Hydro projects the increased rate will improve its bottom line "modestly" and net income this year should reach $30 million.
Meanwhile, Hydro also announced Wednesday it posted a profit of $61 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year. That compares with a $150-million profit the previous year. The utility attributed the decrease to lower electricity prices in short-term export markets and reduced natural gas sales as a result of an unusually mild winter in 2011-12.