Holding company Valener second-quarter profit falls three per cent from year-ago

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MONTREAL - Holding company Valener Inc. (TSX:NRV) says its second-quarter profit falls three per cent to $21.7 million, which it attributed primarily to the decline in its share of net earnings of Gaz Métro.

The Quebec-based company, which owns nearly one-third of Gaz Metro, a Montreal-based electricity and natural gas distributor, said Monday those earnings amounted to 58 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31.

That compared to earnings of $ 22.4 million, or 60 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Valener owns 29 per cent of the Gaz Metro Limited Partnership, Quebec's largest natural gas distributor and a growing power utility in the U.S. state of Vermont, whose results were particularly affected by mild winter temperatures.

"Despite this environment, natural gas prices remain extremely favourable for the commercial development of Gaz Métro, our biggest investment," said Valener's chairman Pierre Monahan.

Aside from Gaz Métro, its net profit attributable to shareholders totalled $106.3 million, down 1.9 per cent, due in part to a decrease in net income from gas distribution in Quebec, the decrease in net income generated by the energy services sector and non-recurring items.

Valener also owns an indirect 24.5 per cent stake in wind power projects jointly developed by Beaupre Eole General Partnership and Boralex Inc. on the private lands in Quebec.

Valener shares fell seven cents Monday at the Toronto Stock Exchange, to close at $ 15.15.

Organizations: Valener, Gaz Métro, TSX Boralex Inc. Toronto Stock Exchange

Geographic location: Quebec, MONTREAL, U.S. Vermont

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