MONTREAL - Quebec-based power producer Boralex Inc. (TSX:BLX) says it will pay its first dividend to shareholders, citing its strong cash flow and growth potential.
Boralex says its first dividend will be 13 cents per common share, payable March 17. Based on Tuesday's closing price, the dividend represents an annualized yield of about 4.2 per cent.
"The decision to pay out our first cash dividend strengthens our commitment to shareholder value creation," said Boralex President and CEO Patrick Lemaire.
He said Boralex improved its profit margin during 2013 as a result of higher weightings in the wind and hydroelectric power segments.
"Given our cash situation, the strength and quality of cash flows from operations, and particularly, the ability of our team to find, operate and finance projects in both France and Canada, I can only be enthusiastic about the future," Lemaire added.
The company, which operates renewable energy plants in Canada, the northeastern United States and France, expects to grow its generation capacity by about 38 per cent by the end of 2015.
Among the projects coming on stream over the next two years is the Jamie Creek hydro electric project in British Columbia, several wind farms in Quebec and two wind farms in France.
Boralex announced its cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter was $16.1 million or 43 cents per share, up from $13.5 million or 36 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2012.
For the full year, cash flow was $51.2 million or $1.36 per share, up from $47.7 million or $1.26 per share.
Boralex's fourth quarter net income was $500,000 or one cent per share and revenue was $51.9 million, both down from a year earlier due to the closure of one of its Quebec generation plants.
In the comparable period of 2012, Boralex had $1.2 million or three cents per share of net income and $52.1 million of revenue. Last year's fourth quarter included two cents per share of net income from operations that have been discontinued.
For the full year, it had a $4.2 million net loss, improved from the year-earlier loss of $5.1 million in 2013, while annual revenue fell by $10 million to $171.4 million.
The decline in revenue was attributed to the shutdown of a power station in Kingsey Falls, Que., in November 2012. Excluding that, Boralex says its fourth quarter revenue was up nine per cent and full-year revenue was up 15 per cent.