Last night we told you about BEL’s record loss of 16 million dollars for the financial year ended December 31st, 2012. The company held its Annual General Meeting last night where it broke the bad news to shareholders – who got paid a modest dividend of five cents per share.

To get a better understanding of what caused that loss – and for a forecast of the present financial year, we spoke to the company’s Senior Manager, Finance & Human Resources, Betty Tam:..

Betty Tam - Senior Manager, Finance & Human Resources
"Yes, indeed we made a record high $193million in revenues last year, however, if you would take a look at our statement of comprehensive income - the cost of power was actually $164million. So in reality after we net that off, we had more or less $29million to work with."

Jules Vasquez reporting
And despite strong and growing sales, that plunged the company into a record loss due to a record high cost of power – 164 million dollars. 35 million more than the previous year because BEL had to purchase power mostly from CFE in Mexico.

Betty Tam
"In 2011 the cost of power was significantly lower than 2012. The rains were not coming as expected in 2012 so the only we could have given energy to our customers was to buy from CFE."

And in 2012 BEL also re-imbursed customers 30 million dollars for unadjusted cost of power between 2008 and 2011

Betty Tam
"So in 2012 when we were able to give back the customers through the rates, because as you recall we reduced the rates to customers and that is where the $30million was given back to the customers."

Jules Vasquez
"Is there a projection for a profit in 2013 after turning a loss in 2012?"

Betty Tam
"Yes we are looking for a profit in 2013, we are very optimistic about that."

On the upside, the company made a sharp cut in operating costs in 2012, bringing that figure to its lowest level since 2008. It also cut the frequency of power outages to its lowest level in five years.

Channel 7