This management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) includes information that will help you understand management’s perspective of our audited consolidated financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2010. The information is based on what we knew as of February 11, 2011.
We encourage you to read our audited consolidated financial statements and notes as you review this MD&A. You can find more information about Cameco, including our audited consolidated financial statements and our most recent annual information form, on our website at cameco.com, on SEDAR at sedar.com or on EDGAR at sec.gov. You should also read our annual information form before making an investment decision about our securities.
Unless we have specified otherwise, all dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars. The financial information in this MD&A and in our financial statements and notes are prepared according to Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (Canadian GAAP), unless otherwise indicated. We also prepared a reconciliation of our annual financial statements to US GAAP, which has been filed with securities regulatory authorities. We present our mineral reserve and resource estimates as required by Canadian securities law. See Important information for US investors.
Cameco is well positioned as the world becomes increasingly focused on nuclear as a source of clean, reliable and affordable energy. We are among the world's largest uranium producers, in a market where demand is growing, and a pure-play nuclear energy investment.
Our vision is to be a dominant nuclear energy company producing uranium fuel and generating clean electricity.
We have long-term objectives for each of our three business segments:
- uranium — double our annual production to 40 million pounds by 2018 from existing assets
- fuel services — invest in our fuel services business to support our overall growth in the nuclear business
- electricity — maintain steady cash flow while looking at options to extend the operating life of the four Bruce B units
We made excellent progress this year at our operations and on our projects.
Strong financial performance
Net earnings in 2010 were $515 million. Last year, net earnings were higher by $584 million, due mainly to the one time gain on the sale of our interest in Centerra Gold Inc. (Centerra) and higher unrealized gains on financial instruments. Revenue was in line with our guidance, and uranium unit costs were 7% lower than in 2009. We ended the year with $1.3 billion cash on hand. We intend to use these funds to advance our growth strategy.
($ millions except where indicated)
|$ per common share (diluted)||1.30||2.82||(54)%|
|Adjusted net earnings (non-GAAP)||496||528||(6)%|
|$ per common share (adjusted and diluted)||1.25||1.35||(7)%|
|Cash provided by operations (after working capital changes)||507||690||(27)%|
|Average realized prices||Uranium||$US/lb||43.63||38.25||14%|
|Shares and stock options outstanding||Dividend policy|
|At February 10, 2011, we had:
||Our board of directors has established a policy of paying a quarterly dividend of $0.10 ($0.40 per year) per common share. This policy will be reviewed from time to time based on our cash flow, earnings, financial position, strategy and other relevant factors.|
Excellent progress this year
In our uranium segment this year, production was 10% higher than 2009 and 6% higher than our plan at the beginning of 2010. We had a number of successes at our mining operations. Key highlights:
- Achieved the best safety performance in our history, exceeding 2009's award winning performance.
- Received approval for production flexibility at McArthur River, which allowed us to exceed our production target by 6%.
- Extended Rabbit Lake's expected mine life by two years to 2017.
- Continued to ramp up production at Inkai and exceeded 2009 production by 136%.
- Finished dewatering the underground development at Cigar Lake, substantially completed securing the underground development areas and began implementing a surface freeze strategy we expect will provide a number of benefits. You can read more about this here.
In our fuel services segment, production was 25% higher than 2009 due to the routine operation of the Port Hope UF6 plant. In 2009, the plant was shut down for the first five months of the year.
In our electricity segment, Bruce Power Limited Partnership (BPLP) generated 25.9 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, at a capacity factor of 91%. Our share of earnings before taxes was $166 million.
Our investment in GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC (GLE) continues to progress. GLE successfully completed initial testing of its enrichment technology, which met key performance criteria. GLE is continuing its testing, and has begun engineering design work for a commercial facility. In addition, we have continued to work with GLE on potential customer contracts for the facility. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is assessing GLE's application for a commercial facility construction and operating licence.
We continued to advance our exploration activities, spending $11 million at five brownfield exploration projects, and $48 million for resource delineation at Kintyre and Inkai block 3. We spent about $37 million on regional exploration programs. Saskatchewan saw the most expenditures, followed by Australia, northern Canada, Asia, the US and South America.
|Uranium||Production volume (million lbs)||22.8||20.8||10%|
|Sales volume (million lbs)||29.6||33.9||(13)%|
|Revenue ($ millions)||1,374||1,551||(11)%|
|Fuel services||Production volume (million kgU)||15.4||12.3||25%|
|Sales volume (million kgU)||17.0||14.9||14%|
|Revenue ($ millions)||301||276||9%|
|Electricity||Output (100%) (TWh)||25.9||24.6||5%|
|Our share of earnings before taxes ($ millions)||166||224||(26)%|
|Key market facts|
|Demand for electricity is expected to nearly double from 2008 to 2035, driven mainly by growth in the developing world as it seeks to diversify sources of energy and provide security of supply.|