Attributing its success to the reopening of businesses and the start of the economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, CUC has announced record sales and earnings for the second quarter of 2021, as well as an increase in its customer base.
Operating income for the quarter ending 30th June 2021 totalled $8.9 million, an increase of $3.3 million when compared to operating income of $5.6 million for the three months ending 30th June 30, 2020. The increase was in the main because of higher electricity sales revenues and lower depreciation, maintenance, and consumer services expenses. Net earnings for the same period totalled $8.6 million, an increase of $4.1 million from $4.5 million in the same quarter last year.
CUC’s net earnings were also positively impacted by lower finance charges driven by lower long-term debt interest charges and higher Allowance for Funds Used During Construction.
As a result, after the adjustment for dividends on the preference shares of the Company, earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares for the second quarter 2021 were $8.4 million, or $0.23 per Class A Ordinary Share, compared to earnings on Class A Ordinary Shares of $4.4 million, or $0.13 per Class A Ordinary Share for the same period in 2020.
CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said Grand Cayman’s economy continued to improve as reflected in the second quarter year over year increase in kilowatt hour sales and a peak demand of 111.2 megawatts, which was approaching the record peak of 113.5 MW set in August 2019.
“Further improvements in the economy and the recovery of electricity sales beyond 2019 levels depends on the successful phased reopening of the tourism industry in September through November 2021, as announced by the Cayman Islands Government and is conditional on the Islands reaching an 80 per cent full vaccination rate,” he said, adding that he was also pleased to report that CUC’s health and safety, environmental and reliability performances were all on, or ahead of targets set for the half year mark.
Sales for the three months ended 30th June, 2021 totalled 170.8 million kWh, an increase of 5.3 million kWh in comparison to 165.5 million kWh for the same three months in 2020. The increase in sales for the second quarter 2021 was primarily due to economic recovery following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, CUC said.
During the first quarter of 2020, most businesses were closed due to Government restrictions. Sales for the six months ended 30th June 2021 totalled 314.6 million kWh, a decrease of 3.3 million kWh in comparison to 317.9 million kWh for the six months ended 30th June, 2020. The decrease in sales for 2021 was mainly due to a decrease in the average consumption of large and general commercial customers due to the Covid-19 pandemic which began to impact the economy in March 2020.
The number of customers increased at the end of the second quarter 2021, with a total number of 31,719, an increase of 1,015 customers, or 3 per cent, compared to 30,704 customers as at the end of June 2020.
During this period of review, customers were being reminded to conserve the amount of energy they consumed.
Mr Hew said: “It is summer time and with children out of school and at home for long periods of time during the day, customers are using more electricity for air conditioning. Global fuel costs are also trending upwards, and as such we remind our customers to monitor and manage their electricity consumption to reduce costs using the smart meter consumption data and energy efficiency tips available on CUC’s website.”
CUC continued to be engaged in discussions with OfReg on key areas focused around renewable energy and a proposal for a 20-megawatt battery storage project and how best this project could be implemented so that customers could reap the benefits, it confirmed.