Chile Electric Sector Profits Surge in 2008

Source:

"Profits soared for Chilean power companies in 2008 as higher electricity prices helped offset the building global financial crisis. . ."

Profits soared for Chilean power companies in 2008 as higher electricity prices helped offset the building global financial crisis and oil prices that spiked for much of the year.

Chile's electricity distributors and generators alike saw sharp gains, boosted by operations in other regional markets like Colombia, Brazil and Peru, and analysts say the outlook for 2009 is healthy.

"The results were very favorable and clearly exceeded our expectations," said Sergio Zapata, an analyst with the Banchile brokerage.

He said the sector was entering 2009 on a strong footing, with hydro-electric reservoirs replenished and diesel prices at their lowest level in two years, giving the biggest boost to companies with hydro- and fuel-based generating capacity.

"Generating power in the fourth quarter of 2008 was much cheaper than in 2007," Zapata said.

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