May 19, 2020

Enbridge Profit Climbs 1,007 Percent

Joel Cuttiford
3 min
Enbridge Profit Climbs 1,007 Percent

Today, energy delivery company Enbridge posted a second quarter profit of $756 million, or 91 cents per share, boosted by its hedging program and other one-time items.  The result compared with a profit of $42 million, or five cents per share, in the same quarter of last year.

Enbridge’s adjusted earnings were $328 million, or 40 cents per share, compared with $306 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

According to data compiled by Thomson Reuters, analysts had been expecting 39 cents of adjusted earnings per share.

Enbridge said that its second quarter adjusted earnings growth was primarily driven by its liquids pipeline business.

The company’s chief executive, Al Monaco, said that there could be upcoming opportunities to build new pipelines in Mexico as the country opens its energy industry up to outside investment.

“They're obviously in significant need of pipeline infrastructure,” Monaco said, adding that this is true for both oil and natural gas.

Mexico is currently in the process of ending the government’s 75-year monopoly over energy through a series of reforms.  Officials hope that private investment and foreign expertise can help revive its waning oil and gas production.  Globally, the sector is booming.

Earlier this year, a delegation of Mexican government officials and business leaders visited Calgary to tout the opportunities.

“Obviously these changes that have been brought down are very positive in that they're going to encourage a lot more investment,” Monaco told the Canadian Press.

But according to Monaco, Enbridge has no immediate plans to enter Mexico.

“We're going to watch to see how these regulations work through and we'll keep our finger on the pulse and see where we go there,” he said.

TransCanada Corp.—a rival of Enbridge—already has a foothold in Mexico, with two pipelines currently operating and expansions in the works.  The Calgary-based company has also indicated that the reforms could mean opportunities for new projects.

Enbridge executives are also discussing the possibility of building a new rail unloading facility in Illinois that would help bring Alberta crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast with a tentative start-up date of early 2016.

The facility is projected to have a capacity of 140,000 barrels per day and would be adjacent to the start point of Enbridge’s Flanagan South pipeline.  Flanagan South is slated to begin shipping crude to Cushing, Oklahoma later on this year.  From there, the oil can make its way to the lucrative Gulf Coast through the Seaway pipeline, which is owned in part by Enbridge.

Earlier this summer, the federal government gave the green light to Enbridge’s multibillion-dollar Northern Gateway pipeline project, which will connect Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia.  The project is subject to 209 conditions that were recommended by a regulatory panel last year.

The twin pipelines would connect growing oilsands crude with buyers on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

But construction won’t begin anytime soon, as Enbridge hopes to first win support from communities along the project’s route.  Opponents have already stated their intentions to fight the project in court.

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Tax
Compliance
financeleaders
Deloitte
Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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