Four major Sask. Crowns post positive income results for 2023-24

TMI Newsdesk
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SGI, SaskTel, SaskPower and SaskEnergy all posted profits for the 2023-24 reporting period, though some Crowns had rosier results than others.

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SaskPower posted $184 million in profit for 2023-24 after being in the red last year, according a report released Tuesday morning.

Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for all major Crown corporations, said SaskPower’s profit was largely due to “increased sales revenue and decreased fuel costs.”

In total, the volume of energy sold during the reporting fiscal year was up two per cent.

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A total of $1.2 billion was invested in capital projects to “sustain, grow and modernize the provincial electricity system” while the utility paid out $18 million in dividends.

In terms of affordability, Duncan said the Crown is not looking to go back to the rate-review panel to assess power bills in Saskatchewan. He noted that a number of programs are offered “internally” from SaskPower and SaskEnergy to address utility costs.

“We are going to see increases related to the ongoing carbon tax,” said Duncan, who added that rate hikes will also be needed in response to capital expenditures.

The minister said SaskPower recently offered “150 megawatts” to neighbouring Alberta amid heavy demand brought on by warm weather. To that point, Duncan added that Saskatchewan needs more power generating capabilities, and he felt the federal Clean Energy Regulations were “unachievable, unaffordable and unconstitutional.”

SaskPower does still intend to hit a net-zero emissions target by 2050. It has a goal of emitting 50-per-cent less greenhouse gas by 2030, compared to outputs in 2005.

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The report released Tuesday said the Crown is currently emitting four-per-cent less than 2005.

As for how SaskPower plans to add another 46 per cent in the next six years, Duncan said wind and solar projects will help make up ground toward the target.

“I’m confident that we’ll be able to hit those goals,” he said.

In the coming year, SaskPower plans to spend $1.6 billion on capital projects. Asked how the Crown will maintain its core and make upgrades while also working to hit those targets, Duncan compared it to “building the plane while you’re flying,” he said with a laugh before handing the microphone to SaskPower president/CEO Rupen Pandya.

Pandya said “that is the fundamental challenge of the energy transition,” adding that it’s a significant challenge to decarbonize.

Others join the profit party

With this being report week for Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations, SaskEnergy, SGI, and SaskTel announced profits of their own for the previous fiscal year.

SaskEnergy posted “a net income before unrealized market value adjustments of $55 million, compared to $126 million from the year prior,” according to a press release. The decrease was mainly attributed to “asset optimization margins, delivery revenues and customer capital contributions.”

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“I think we had a very good year at SaskEnergy,” said president and CEO Mark Guillet.

SaskEnergy also paid out a dividend of $21 million and has decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent since 2019 — on pace to hit a reduction of 35 per cent by 2030.

Reports on SGI and SaskTel also show profits.

“SGI’s financial results benefitted from a mild storm season, along with a better-than-expected performance by its investment portfolio,” said a release from the province.

In total, SGI’s Auto Fund saw $1.096 billion in total claims as $1.078 billion in gross premiums were written. In the end, SGI posted $183.5 million in  earnings from investments while SGI Canada (the corporation’s national insurance provider) reported net income of $78.1 million.

Even though the financial picture is looking fairly rosy, SGI is not planning to offer paybacks or rebates this year to customers in Saskatchewan or elsewhere in Canada.

SaskTel posted net income of $95.4 million and operating revenues of $1,351.4 million, which is $21.3 million more than the previous year.

From that income, 40 per cent (or $38.2 million) was paid out in a dividend to the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan.

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“In 2023-24, SaskTel invested $368.5 million of capital to connect more Saskatchewan communities to SaskTel’s infiNET and 5G networks,” Duncan said in a press release. “This significant investment ensured more Saskatchewan families and businesses could take advantage of the economic and quality of life improvements that come along with enhanced connectivity.”

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