Media Releases


STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR CROWN SECTOR IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2004

May 28, 2004

Saskatchewan's Crown corporations posted increased revenue and earnings in the first quarter of 2004 compared with the same period a year ago.

Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan (CIC) and its subsidiary Crowns had consolidated earnings of $123.7 million on revenue of $1.1 billion for the period January 1st to March 31st, 2004. That represents an increase of $27 million in earnings and about $60 million in revenue over the same period in 2003.

"These are very positive results for the Crown sector in the first quarter," Crown Management Board Minister Pat Atkinson said. "The results indicate that 2004 should be another good year financially for our commercial Crown corporations."

This is the first time CIC and its subsidiaries have published quarterly financial results.

"Quarterly reports are part of our commitment to making our Crowns more open and accountable to the people of Saskatchewan," Atkinson said. "We started by tabling the Crowns' annual reports on different days this past April, and we will soon be mailing a Summary Annual Report to all homes in the province. It is our intention to ensure that openness with our Crowns will exceed all requirements and standards of the private sector."

Key results for the first quarter of 2004, as compared to the first quarter of 2003 unless otherwise stated, include:

• CIC reported consolidated earnings of $123.7 million, up $27 million due mainly to increased earnings at SaskEnergy, Investment Saskatchewan and SGI Canada, partly offset by decreased earnings at SaskPower. See www.www.cicorp.sk.ca;

• Information Services Corporation (ISC) had a loss of $476,000, but is forecasting positive earnings for the 2004 fiscal year. See www.isc.ca;

• Investment Saskatchewan Inc. had increased earnings of $12.3 million, due mainly to a loan interest payment received from HARO Financial Corporation and higher earnings from its investments in Meadow Lake OSB Products Ltd. (oriented strand board plant) and Saskferco Products Ltd. Inquiry (306) 787-7200;

• SGI CANADA had earnings of $16.3 million, up $8.3 million due to improved underwriting performance and stronger investment returns. See www.sgi.sk.ca. The Saskatchewan Auto Fund, a stand-alone compulsory auto insurance program administered by SGI, is not included in SGI CANADA's or CIC's consolidated results. The Auto Fund had a deficit of $6.9 million, compared with a deficit of $14.9 million in the first quarter of 2003. The improvement is due to higher investment earnings. The Rate Stabilization Reserve was $7.5 million at March 31st, 2004;

• Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO) had earnings of $625,000, up $1.2 million due mainly to increased revenue from the Bio Processing Centre and the Regina Research Park, as well as a higher grant from the General Revenue Fund (GRF). Inquiry (306) 798-7275;

• SaskPower had earnings of $18 million, down $43 million due mainly to the significant foreign exchange gain recorded in 2003. See www.saskpower.com;

• SaskTel had earnings of $29.6 million, up $7.6 million, highlighted by a $2.3 million cash gain on the sale of Austar United Communications Limited shares. See www.sasktel.com;

• SaskWater had a loss of $1 million, but expects to meet its year-end targets and to achieve profitability over the next four years. See www.saskwater.com; and

• SaskEnergy had earnings of $45.4 million, up $42.7 million primarily due to a partial recovery in the Gas Cost Variance Account in the first quarter of 2004. See www.saskenergy.com.

In addition to the Crowns already listed, the quarterly report for Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) is available at www.stcbus.com and the quarterly report for Saskatchewan Government Growth Fund Management Corporation is available at www.sggfmc.com.

CIC and its major subsidiary Crowns will post their quarterly reports on their web sites. The reports will be available within 60 days of the end of each quarter. Reports for the fourth quarter of each year will be rolled into the Crowns' annual reports.

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For More Information, Contact:

Karen Schmidt
CIC
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-5889