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TransAlta's comparable EBITDA drops, revenue increases in Q4

TransAlta Renewables Inc. on Feb. 22 reported fourth-quarter 2017 comparable EBITDA of C$118 million, down from C$121 million in the prior-year period.

Cash available for distribution, or CAFD, increased to C$88 million, or 35 cents per share, in the most recent quarter, from C$69 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company posted fourth-quarter 2017 net earnings attributable to common shareholders of C$33 million, or 13 cents per share, up from C$26 million, or 12 cents per share, in the comparable 2016 quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue improved year over year to C$134 million from C$94 million, while adjusted funds from operations increased to C$111 million from C$91 million, results showed.

Renewable energy production grew to 1,123 GWh in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2017, from 975 GWh in the same period of 2016.

On a full-year basis, the TransAlta Corp. affiliate reported comparable EBITDA of C$424 million in 2017, up from C$407 million in 2016. The company attributed the increase to the commissioning of the South Hedland power station in Australia.

CAFD totaled C$284 million, or C$1.21 per share, in 2017, compared with C$245 million, or C$1.10 per share, a year ago, the company said.

Net earnings attributable to common shareholders improved to C$9 million, or 4 cents per share, from a loss of C$2 million, or 1 cent per share, in 2016.

The company's revenue was C$459 million for 2017, compared with C$259 million a year ago. Adjusted funds from operations also increased to C$328 million from C$284 million.

Renewable energy production climbed to 3,623 GWh in 2017, from 3,541 GWh in 2016.

TransAlta Renewables has set financial targets for 2018 of C$400 million to C$420 million for comparable EBITDA, C$315 million to C$340 million for adjusted funds from operations and C$260 million to C$290 million for CAFD. The company also expects its renewable energy production for the year to be in the range of 3,400 GWh to 3,800 GWh.

The company declared monthly dividends of 7.833 cents for holders of record on April 3, May 1 and June 1, payable on each of April 30, May 31 and June 29, respectively.