Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund Announces Solid First Quarter Results
- Portfolio performing in line with expectations
- Stable, conservative financial position
- Strong capacity for continuing growth
TORONTO, ONTARIO (May 6, 2008) – Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund (TSX:
MPT.UN; MPT. DB – “MPT” or the “Fund”), which invests in essential infrastructure assets in
North America, today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008. The Fund’s
Management’s Discussion and Analysis and unaudited financial statements are available on
the Fund’s website at www.macquarie.com/mpt and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
“Overall, the Fund’s portfolio performed strongly during the quarter in line with expectations,”
said Mr. Gregory Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. “The Fund
benefited from increased power production and higher power rates as well as predictable
results from Leisureworld, where the newly acquired long-term care homes made a positive
contribution. Also during the quarter, the Fund increased distributions to unitholders to $1.05
per unit on an annualized basis, which represents a compound annual growth rate in
distributions of 2.8% since inception.”
Revenue for the quarter was $43.7 million compared with $29.0 million in the first quarter of
2007. The increase reflected the contribution from the wind, hydro and biomass power assets
that the Fund acquired as part of the successful unit exchange takeover of Clean Power
Income Fund (“CPIF”) on June 27, 2007 and higher power prices attributable to the continuing
impact of electricity rate increases under the Cardinal facility’s (“Cardinal”) Power Purchase
Income from operations1 for the Fund was $10.7 million for the quarter compared with $7.6
million for the same period last year, reflecting the higher revenue. The increase in revenue
was partially offset by a $5.6-million increase in operating costs, which was due to the addition
of the new assets to the portfolio as well as increased fuel usage and higher gas transportation
costs at Cardinal. The growth in revenue was also offset by a $1.7-million increase in
administrative expenses, which included additional management fees and cost reimbursement
associated with the acquisition of CPIF as well as ongoing business development activities.
The Fund’s distributable cash2 was $16.5 million ($0.330 per unit) compared with $12.1 million
($0.402 per unit) in 2007. Declared distributions to unitholders for the quarter were $13.1
million ($0.262 per unit) compared with $7.7 million ($0.257 per unit) in 2007, representing a
payout ratio of 80% (Q1 2007 – 64%). The higher payout ratio reflects the cash flow from the
newly acquired assets, which was offset by higher distributions declared to unitholders. The
increase in distributions declared was due to a greater number of units outstanding as a result
of the issuance of units in connection with the acquisition of CPIF as well as an increase in
distributions to unitholders of $0.02 per unit on an annualized basis. Distributions to
unitholders are paid from cash flows from operations and unrestricted cash balances.
As at March 31, 2008, the Fund had positive working capital of $32.7 million and cash on hand
of $25.6 million, including fully funded general, major maintenance and capital expenditure
reserve accounts in the aggregate amount of $18.9 million. The Fund is conservatively
leveraged, with a debt to capitalization ratio of 39.3%.
Total power production for the quarter increased 65% to 568,838 MWh compared with 344,543
MWh last year.
Cardinal performed in line with expectations, producing 346,244 MWh of electricity (Q1 2007 –
344,543 MWh), which reflected fewer outages in 2008 compared with 2007. As a result,
Cardinal achieved availability of 99.9% (Q1 2007 – 99.2%) and capacity of 98.5% (Q1 2007 –
97.9%). Subsequent to quarter end, Cardinal completed its combustion inspection in four
days instead of the five days typically required.
Production at Erie Shores Wind Farm (“Erie Shores”) totalled 81,933 MWh (Q1 2007 – 88,686
MWh), which was in line with the Fund’s forecast. The wind speed and density in the quarter
was less than the unusually strong conditions experienced in the first quarter of 2007. The
facility achieved an overall availability of 97.4% (Q1 2007 – 95.9%) and a capacity factor of
38.1% (Q1 2007 – 40.8%).
The Fund’s hydro power facilities delivered production of 29,937 MWh in line with the same
period last year (Q1 2007 – 30,091 MWh). The two hydro facilities in Ontario experienced
increased water flows. This was offset by colder than usual conditions at the Sechelt facility in
British Columbia, which resulted in decreased water flows, and planned electrical and
mechanical maintenance at the facility during the quarter. Overall, the hydro power facilities
had a weighted average availability of 92.9% (Q1 2007 – 98.5%) for the quarter and a capacity
factor of 38.6% (Q1 2007 – 39.0%).
The Whitecourt biomass plant (“Whitecourt”) operated at 100% availability (Q1 2007 – 93.4%)
as there were no outages during the quarter compared with two outages in the same quarter
last year. The facility achieved a capacity factor of 98.7% (Q1 2007 – 92.7%). Total production
at Whitecourt was 52,109 MWh (Q1 2007 – 46,760 MWh).
The Chapais facility (“Chapais”), in which the Fund holds a minority preferred equity and debt
interest, experienced availability of 96.6% (Q1 2007 – 99.9%). Production at Chapais for the
quarter was 58,615 MWh (Q1 2007 – 60,186 MWh).
The Fund owns an indirect 45% equity interest in Leisureworld Senior Care LP
(“Leisureworld”), which is accounted for by the Fund as an equity investment. On January 31,
2008, Leisureworld completed the acquisition of seven long-term care homes, making it the
third largest provider of long-term care in the province of Ontario. This transaction is expected
to contribute to the sustainability and predictability of Leisureworld’s distributions to the Fund.
During the quarter, Leisureworld achieved a 27.1% increase in revenue and an 8.1% increase
in income from operations, reflecting the contribution of the new homes, improved occupancy
and greater use of private accommodation across its portfolio, and increased government
funding. Average total occupancy for the quarter was 98.1% (Q1 2007 – 97.5%). The average
occupancy of private rooms was 91.9% (Q1 2007 – 87.8%).
“Our portfolio continues to deliver stable performance, which reflects the essential nature,
inelastic demand and predictable cash flow of critical infrastructure assets,” said Mr. Smith. “In
addition, we continue to have substantial financial capacity for growth, including up to $100
million under our credit facilities. Our goal is to build a significant, diversified portfolio of
infrastructure assets that returns exceptional long-term value to unitholders.”
In 2008, Cardinal will continue to benefit from higher electricity rates under its PPA. This will
be offset by higher than anticipated gas transportation costs, reflecting the impact of a
regulated rate increase to $1.31/GJ from $1.09/GJ that was awarded to TransCanada
Pipelines Limited, which transports gas to the Cardinal facility, effective April 1, 2008.
Erie Shores is performing in line with the Fund’s forecast and is expected to deliver annual
production of approximately 245,600 MWh, subject to wind speed and density, which are
typically greatest during the fall and winter months. Warranted plant availability of 97% is
guaranteed by GE, the turbine supplier, including direct revenue reimbursement if that
threshold is not met. Erie Shores’ annual maintenance, which typically requires approximately
four to five days of outage, is expected to be completed during the seasonally low third
Strong performance from the hydro facilities is expected through the spring months as weather
conditions warm. Water flows are typically strongest during the spring and fall months. The
impact of fluctuating water flows on revenue is mitigated by the geographic diversification of
the hydro assets across the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific watersheds. Additionally, the PPAs at
Wawatay and Dryden provide for higher electricity rates during the months of October to
The hydro facilities are expected to generate long-term average production of 166,360 MWh
per year, which represents average actual historical production at each of the plants. This
long-term average includes the impact of outages required for mechanical and electrical
inspections at the plants, which are typically scheduled for seasonally low periods.
Whitecourt continues to operate reliably, reflecting the stability of its fuel supply and strong
maintenance program. The plant operates on a seven-year maintenance cycle and will
undergo major maintenance in May 2008, which is expected to require an approximately 24-
day outage. Importantly, routine major maintenance costs at each of the Fund’s power plants
are fully funded through the Fund’s major maintenance reserve account and have no impact
on distributable cash.
At Leisureworld, a key focus in 2008 is on securing approval from the Ontario Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care for the acquisition of the Good Samaritan Seniors Complex.
Leisureworld is continuing its emphasis on optimizing occupancy across its homes and on
increasing the number of residents choosing private accommodation, which contributes to
Leisureworld’s operating profitability. Leisureworld has a significant critical mass in the Ontario
long-term care sector and is well positioned to capitalize on complementary acquisition
opportunities that will further enhance the stability and quality of the portfolio.
For 2008, the Fund anticipates achieving a payout ratio of approximately 100%, which reflects
the impact of higher operating expenses at Cardinal primarily due to the greater than expected
increase in gas transportation costs.
Conference Call and Webcast
Management of the Fund will hold a conference call (with accompanying slides) to discuss first
quarter results on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call will be
accessible via webcast through the Fund’s website at www.macquarie.com/mpt and by
telephone at 416-641-6139 (Canada) or 1-866-542-4262 (North America). A replay of the call
will be available until May 21, 2008 by dialling 416-695-5800 or 1-800-408-3053 and entering
the passcode 3258260.
Distribution Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)
Eligible unitholders may elect to participate in the Fund’s Distribution Reinvestment Plan. For
more information about the DRIP, please visit the Fund’s website at www.macquarie.com/mpt.
About the Fund
Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund invests in essential infrastructure assets in
North America with an emphasis on power infrastructure. MPT’s strategy is to acquire and
actively manage a diverse, high quality portfolio of infrastructure assets to improve their
financial performance and provide growing and sustainable distributions to unitholders. MPT’s
portfolio includes investments in gas cogeneration, wind, hydro and biomass power generating
facilities, representing approximately 350 MW of installed capacity, and a 45% indirect interest
in Leisureworld Senior Care LP, a leading provider of long-term care, or social infrastructure, in
Ontario. MPT is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited. Please
visit www.macquarie.com/mpt for additional information.
1 Income from operations refers to income before net interest, foreign exchange losses, share of losses from long-term
investments, unrealized gains (losses) on swap contracts and on embedded derivatives in gas purchase contracts,
2 Distributable cash is defined as cash flows from operating activities after removing changes in working capital and
reflecting the impacts of releases from maintenance reserves, allocations to major maintenance and capital
expenditure reserves, non-discretionary payments and receipts, and distributions from Leisureworld.
Certain statements in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements, which involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements use such words as “may”,
“will”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan” and other similar terminology. These statements reflect current
expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this news release.
Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future
performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved.
A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking
statements, including, but not limited to: including risks associated with: the operational performance of the Fund’s
assets; power purchase agreements; fuel costs, supply and transportation; default under credit agreements; regulatory
regime and permits; land tenure and related rights; government regulation and funding; acquisition-related risks; LTC
home ownership and operation; minority interest; reliance on key personnel; default under Leisureworld’s long-term
debt and credit facility; labour relations and cost; the variability of distributions; unitholder liability; dependence on the
Manager and potential conflicts of interest; insurance; and risks related to the environmental, health and safety
regimes within which the Fund’s assets operate. The risks and uncertainties described above are not exhaustive and
other events and risk factors including risk factors disclosed in MPT’s filings with Canadian securities regulatory
authorities could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon information currently available and
what the Fund currently believes are reasonable assumptions. These assumptions include that the business and
economic conditions affecting the Fund’s operations will continue substantially in their current state, including, with
respect to industry conditions, general levels of economic activity, regulations, weather, taxes and interest rates and
that there will be no unplanned material changes to the Fund’s facilities, equipment and contractual arrangements.
However, the Fund cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and the Fund and
Macquarie Power Management Ltd. (the Manager of the Fund) assume no obligation to update or revise them to
reflect new events or circumstances. The Fund cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking
statements, which speak only as of the date made.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
"Income from operations" and "distributable cash" do not have any standardized meaning under Canadian Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles. Management believes they are useful measures of performance as they provide
investors with indications of income from operations and the amount of cash available for distribution to unitholders.
The Fund's method of calculating "income from operations" and "distributable cash" may not be comparable to other
similarly named calculations.
For further information, please contact:
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Tel: (416) 607 5198
Tel: (416) 649 1325