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Jun 19, 2015

B.E.L.’s Earnings Doubled in 2014

The Belize Electricity Limited held its annual general meeting on Thursday night. Two major announcements were made at the closed-door meeting of the government-controlled utility company held at the Radisson. B.E.L. told shareholders that the 2014 year saw bumper net earnings of thirty-six point two million dollars. It’s no small number, in fact just in 2013, the net earnings was a little over eighteen million dollars; that means that earnings have doubled since. But what could attribute to the record profits? B.E.L. has been buying electricity at significantly lower prices from Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad. The company, however, attributes the earnings to performance. But with that big figure comes some responsibilities; well, for starters, B.E.L. Directors gave the green light for dividend payments of fifteen cents per share; it’s over eighty-five percent increase compared to 2013. But with record growth for B.E.L., what is in store for consumers? Here’s how the PR Manager of the B.E.L. explains the record growth numbers.

 

Vonetta Burrell

Vonetta Burrell, PR Manager, B.E.L.

“We were happy to announce to our shareholder the successes of the company of the past year; one of those being that we achieved thirty two point six two million dollars in earnings and we also have been able to pay shareholders fifteen cents per share in dividends.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When we look at those figures, what can we attribute it to?”

 

Vonetta Burrell

“We can attribute it to the company’s high performance in 2014; we did exceptionally well last year.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You talk about performance; break that down a little for us. What does that translate to for B.E.L.?”

 

Vonetta Burrell

“Okay. Our high performance, broken down, is that at the end of the year 2014. We had approximately fifty-seven million dollars cash on hand, and of that fifty seven million dollars, twenty two million dollars is actually due to savings realized on the cost of power and those savings will actually be passed on down to our customers in terms of reduction in electricity rates, which will become effective in July. We also have ten million dollars that we owe to the Social Security Board that was loaned to us in 2012 and that becomes payable at the end of 2015. We will also be using eleven million dollars to pay the fifteen cents per share in dividends that are due to our shareholders for 2014. We also have programs underway to expand our national grid to ensure that more Belizeans can benefit from our power supply. We have a program in which we are enabling local income families to connect to the grid by assisting with the cost of the infrastructure needed. It is our connecting home improving lives project.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Does B.E.L. have other investments that it will be making?”

 

Vonetta Burrell

“B.E.L is also committed to ensuring that we contribute to the community that we serve. We will be installing approximately ten thousand L.E.D lights across the country, especially in hot spot areas.”

 

In April, the company announced that it will be reducing light bills by ten percent come July first. 

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