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TransAlta Q1 EBITDA improves despite low prices

TransAlta Corp.on May 3 reported slightly higher first-quarter 2016 comparable EBITDA of C$279.0million, compared with C$275.0 million in the same period in 2015.Comparable free cash flow was C$86.0 million, compared with C$110.0 million, or40 cents per share, in the corresponding quarter in 2015.

The company posted first-quarter comparable net earnings attributableto common shareholders of C$14.0 million, or 5 cents per share, compared to C$26.0million, or 9 cents per share, in the 2015 first quarter.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2016 slid to C$568.0 million,from C$593.0 million in the first quarter of 2015. First-quarter 2016 productiontotaled 8,867 GWh, compared with 9,900 GWh in the same period of 2015.

"Power prices in Alberta were at historic low levels duringthe quarter and impacted our hydro and wind assets in the province. The impact oflower prices on our coal facilities was mostly mitigated by our high level of contractsand hedges," TransAlta said in a statement.

TransAlta continues to expect its 2016 comparable EBITDA to bein the range of C$990.0 million to C$1.1 billion. Comparable free cash flow is expectedto be in the range of C$250 million to C$300 million, net of sustaining capitalof about C$330 million to C$350 million.

"We remain on track to achieve our guidance ranges for 2016as previously disclosed," President and CEO Dawn Farrell said. "We continueto focus on supporting a transition that works for all stakeholders while maintainingmaximum financial flexibility and benefiting from growth in gas-fired and renewablegeneration as we transition to clean power."