2009 financial performance
Financial results for 2009 were disappointing. Market conditions were extremely challenging. Electricity prices and power demand were low and we experienced below-historical performance at our Alberta coal plants causing us to miss our targeted availability levels. Maintaining high availability levels is key to our profitability.
However, we carefully manage our balance sheet and cash flows in order to maintain financial strength and flexibility throughout all economic cycles. This discipline proved invaluable during the economic environment of 2009. We continue to maintain $2.1 billion in committed credit facilities, and as of December 31, 2009, $0.7 billion was available to us. These strong ratios, available credit, continued reliable cash flow from operations, and limited debt maturity profile provide us with ample financial flexibility, and as a result we can be selective about if and when we go to the capital markets for funding.
We are committed to optimizing the balance between returning capital to shareholders, liquidity requirements, base business investment, and growth opportunities. We have a proven track record of maintaining our long-term financial stability, which includes balancing the cash distributions to our shareholders through dividends and share buybacks, with making investments in growth projects that will deliver long-term cash flow, and investments in research and technology.
Detailed information regarding TransAlta’s 2009 financial performance is available in the 2009 annual report.