UPDATE 1-TransAlta profit rises on lower maintenance costs

Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:27am EST
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* Expects costs to fall by about C$25 mln-C$30 mln by 2013

* Fourth-qtr comparable EPS C$0.21 vs C$0.13 year earlier

* Revenue falls 6 percent

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Canadian power generation company TransAlta Corp reported a 58 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped in part by lower maintenance costs.

TransAlta, which has plants in Canada, the United States and Australia, said it expects costs to fall by C$25-C$30 million by 2013. The company did not provide total cost figures for 2012 or 2013.

Net earnings attributable to common shareholders for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to C$38 million ($37 million), or 15 Canadian cents per share, from C$24 million, or 11 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Comparable earnings increased to 21 Canadian cents per share from 13 Canadian cents per share.

The Calgary-based company said comparable earnings were driven by the acquisition of the 125 megawatt dual-fuel Solomon power station, which is in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The company said in September the acquisition was expected to generate unlevered after-tax returns in the low double digits and pre-financing cash flows of about C$40 million per year.   Continued...