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Jun 21, 2012

B.E.L. AGM announces $2 Million in profits

June makes one year since the government assumed control of Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) from Fortis. On Wednesday, B.E.L. held its annual general meeting at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza where it reported on its performance for 2011.  The company’s success included the reduction of electricity rates in February as well as a green light from the Caribbean Development Bank to seek financing for capital projects.  News Five spoke to Dawn Sampson, the Manager of Corporate Services who said the company earned two million dollars in 2011.

 

Dawn Sampson, Company Secretary, Manager Corporate Services

Dawn Sampson

“With respect to earnings, we earned approximately two million dollars in 2011. You will note in reviewing the report that we shared with shareholders that most of that money was earned in the second half of the year. We earned about one point six million dollars between June and December compared to two hundred and sixty-three thousand in the first half of the year.  Following the change of management in June of 2011, the focus was to improve our control processes, reduce unnecessary expenditure—we had to ensure that we could make payments to our power suppliers because you will recall that back in June of last year, the company did project rolling power outages. That never happened and that simply did not happen because we were able to meet the payments to the independent power suppliers and we were able to meet the overdue payment to the Public Utilities Commission. The P.U.C. in June of last year was also threatened to cancel the company’s license as a result o the company for not making due payment. So, improving the company’s cash flow allowed us to make those commitments. We were able to avoid rolling power outages and the P.U.C. abandoned their intention to cancel the company’s license. Now going forward, shareholders understandable are looking forward to and want to know when the company will declare dividends going forward. The future looks very optimistic; it’s very positive. We were able to deliver some good news from the Caribbean Development Bank at our AGM yesterday. Let me just give you some history. Over the past three years or so because of the company’s financial situation, the company had to use most of the cash that it generated to finance its investments, to finance its capital projects; its capital works. And so that really restricted the company from paying out dividends. And the reason that the company had to take this approach is simply because it was of the view that it was in breach of a Caribbean Development Bank loan covenant. Right? So in December of last year, B.E.L. wrote to the C.D.B. requesting a waiver of that covenant. The C.D.B. responded back to B.E.L. and informed us that the company’s performance in relation to that covenant does not restrict the company’s barring capacity. So that’s very good news for us. We were able to share that with shareholders yesterday. And what that means now is that the company can go out and borrow, the company can go out and seek financing for its capital investments. As a matter in fact, the C.D.B. itself has expressed interests in financing the company’s service improvement and expansion initiatives.”

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1 Response for “B.E.L. AGM announces $2 Million in profits”

  1. now i see says:

    No wonder!!! The electric bill is so ridiculous!!!!! And we still have blackouts. And you are so proud to steal from the people?

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