TORONTO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Fortis Inc FTS.TO reported a slightly lower fourth-quarter profit as its year-earlier earnings were helped by one-time items, the Canadian gas and power utility company said on Thursday.
Fortis, with operations in eastern Canada, British Columbia and the Caribbean, earned C$76 million ($61.8 million), or 48 Canadian cents a share, down from a year-earlier C$79 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share.
The company said the year-ago results were favorably affected by one-time items totaling around C$13 million.
It said excluding those items, earnings were C$10 million higher in the 2008 quarter.
The company had been expected to earn 46 Canadian cents a share, according to a Reuters Estimates survey of analysts’ forecasts.
Revenue was C$1.18 billion, up 16 percent from C$1.02 billion.
Fortis said its results were partially helped by stronger performance and lower corporate taxes at FortisAlberta, lower corporate expenses, and C$1 million of additional earnings from Caribbean Utilities.
Results were partially reduced by a lower allowed rate of return on rate base assets at Belize Electricity, a loss of about C$1 million of revenue at Fortis Turks and Caicos related to Hurricane Ike, and a C$2 million reduction in quarterly earnings at Newfoundland Power associated with a shift in the distribution of the utility’s annual purchased power expense. ($1=$1.23 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank)