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NOVA CORP. OF ALBERTA HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING

 NOVA CORP. OF ALBERTA HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING
 CALGARY, Alberta, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued


today by NOVA Corp. of Alberta:
 NOVA Corp. of Alberta (NYSE: NVA, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary: NVA) made tough decisions in 1991 to consolidate its strengths and create the base for steadily improving results, J. E. Newall, president and chief executive officer, told shareholders today at NOVA's annual meeting.
 Every major organization goes through phases of growth followed by periods of consolidation. The year 1991 was a poor year financially for NOVA. Improving results from the pipeline businesses were more than offset by increasing losses from the chemicals businesses. Chemicals are in the midst of a deep industry-wide cyclical decline, he said.
 Business/Financial Review & Outlook
 "In 1992, we expect higher pipeline earnings and much lower losses from chemicals. The progress we expect to make in chemicals in 1992 is all from internal improvements -- mainly lower costs. We are not counting on higher prices, but we may see some," Newall said.
 NOVA's cost-of-service operations -- primarily the Alberta-based pipeline business -- provides a solid foundation for overall performance. The Alberta Gas Transmission Division (AGTD) has operated at record levels for the past five years and this will continue.
 Industry conditions affecting the chemicals businesses are not expected to improve materially in 1992. Nevertheless, significant actions have been taken to improve the situation and it would take only a modest improvement in prices to put these businesses back in the black.
 Newall said NOVA's overall objectives are to provide the most cost- effective pipeline transmission service for our natural gas customers and to create a strong and fully competitive group of chemicals businesses.
 "By doing so, we will deliver substantial gains for our shareholders," he said.
 Strategically, NOVA has been and continues to expand AGTD as a result of customer requests for increased pipeline capacity.
 At the same time, "we are very much aware that extremely low prices for natural gas in North America right now are causing significant hardship and damage to Alberta's gas producers. We are responding to the industry's plight by redoubling our efforts to reduce operating costs and increase productivity in all areas."
 For the chemicals businesses, capital spending is restricted to the $100 million annual level for the near term. This level of spending will sustain current facilities in excellent shape and meet safety and environmental commitments. It provides no capital for expansion.
 "We have several highly attractive, low-cost, expansion opportunities in chemicals which will be taken as soon as cash flow permits," he said.
 Over the past few months, these major decisions were made to strengthen NOVA and its core businesses:
 -- Adopted an interim corporate strategy that AGTD has first call on all capital available for expansion until its needs are fully met;
 -- Sold NOVA's 43 percent interest in Husky Oil Ltd. to reduce cash outflow and funding requirements;
 -- Reduced dividends paid on common shares to conserve about $100 million a year for investment in the pipelines business;
 -- Merged the petrochemicals and plastics divisions into a single entity to reduce overhead costs and increase operational effectiveness;
 -- Initiated a comprehensive total strategic review of every chemicals and plastics business to set their strategic direction for the balance of the decade;
 -- Massively decentralized and streamlined the corporate structure and management of NOVA to create two largely self-contained business units, AGTD and Novacor Chemicals. The new structure will be less costly and will allow NOVA to make faster, more customer-responsive decisions;
 -- Canceled the proposed separation of NOVA into two stand-alone companies, which was made impractical by the depressed state of the chemicals industry;
 -- Restored the balance sheet to very solid levels by taking a $675 million restructuring charge against fourth quarter earnings, issuing $240 million of new equity early this year, and additional equity through the offering now being completed;
 -- Continued to reduce non-utility long-term debt.
 "Each of these actions has strengthened NOVA. We are once again strong financially. We have reduced our costs significantly. We have a very clearly focused direction for the future," Newall said.
 National Unity
 Newall, also chairman of the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI), told NOVA shareholders the issue of constitutional reform and national unity in Canada is one of the largest and most important uncertainties facing Canadian business today.
 He said the BCNI believes the current direction of the national unity debate holds dangers for Canada and for Canadian enterprises. As a result, the BCNI recently agreed unanimously on the direction that constitutional reform should take, and made four key points:
 -- First, a sense of perspective is badly needed. Canada's national troubles have driven many to denigrate Canada's past successes and its future potential. Some support a break-up. Some are prepared to risk a break-up by pursuing regional agendas. Canadians must reverse this tide of pessimism through a renewal of faith in themselves and their political institutions.
 -- Second, the constitutional issue, fast becoming a major crisis, is also an opportunity to correct historic grievances and reaffirm strongly who Canadians are. It is an opportunity to modernize, simplify, rationalize, and make the institutions of government which have served Canadians so well in the past much more effective, efficient and responsive to the public interest.
 -- Third, Canada is strong and can become much stronger but only as a united country. Partition or fragmentation carries incalculable costs. Those who say a divided Canada would be a stronger Canada are wrong. They have lost their perspective. They are ignoring history. They have turned their backs on Canada's proven ability to reach for and achieve political accommodation.
 -- Fourth, there are powerful and compelling economic reasons for resolving the constitutional deadlock and putting political changes in place. Canadians need to continue building the competitiveness of their industries. They need to ensure that Canadians can continue to rely on abundant jobs and good incomes.
 "Around the world, economic integration is increasing. It is ironic, surprising -- and foolhardy -- for Canadians to consider a step backward at the same time the rest of the world steps forward. Whatever else it is, it is certainly economic lunacy for every region in Canada, including Alberta," Newall said.
 NOVA is a widely held company operating internationally from headquarters in Calgary. NOVA builds its future on pipelines, and the manufacturing and marketing of chemicals produced primarily from Alberta natural resources.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: J.E. Newall, president and CEO of NOVA Corp. of Alberta, 403-290-7777/
 (NVA) CO: NOVA Corp. of Alberta ST: Alberta IN: OIL CHM SU:


KJ -- LA023 -- 0716 04/21/92 13:31 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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