(All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise)
TransCanada Corporation announced net income for the first quarter 2004 of $214 million or $0.44 per share compared to $208 million or $0.43 per share for the first quarter 2003. The increase of $6 million or $0.01 per share was primarily due to lower net expenses in the Corporate segment partially offset by lower net earnings from the Gas Transmission business. The decrease in net expenses in the Corporate segment relates primarily to income tax refunds received in first quarter 2004. Funds generated from operations for the first quarter 2004 were $423 million compared to $457 million for the same period last year.
"TransCanada continues to deliver steady operating and financial performance underpinned by our focus on operational excellence and a strong balance sheet," said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's chief executive officer. "Over the course of the year, however, TransCanada faces some uncertainty around earnings from our Alberta System and Canadian Mainline as we await the outcome of regulatory hearings at the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the National Energy Board respectively.
"Over the longer term, our core businesses of natural gas transmission and power services remain strong, with increasing North American demand for energy supporting their growth. We continue to evaluate and act on opportunities to grow these businesses consistent with our corporate strategy and our commitment to long-term value creation, balanced against our objective of maintaining our strong financial position.
"Our announcement in the first quarter of an agreement to acquire Gas Transmission Northwest (pending bankruptcy court approval), and our reaffirmation of our intention to play a leadership role in developing the Alaskan and Canadian portions of an Alaska Highway Pipeline project are evidence of our ongoing efforts to fulfill that commitment," said Mr. Kvisle.
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