Manitoba Hydro lost $24-million between April and June this year, the first three months of its 2012-13 fiscal year.

The loss compares to net income of $6-million for the same three-month period at the Crown-owned utility last year.

Hydro attributed the loss to lower revenues on "spot market" sales and higher operating costs which the utility said had been expected. With the 2.5 per cent interim electricity rate increase approved by the Public Utilities Board last week, hydro expects to earn $30 million net income for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The company said its quarterly loss was made up of a $14-million loss in the electricity sector and a $10-million loss in the natural gas sector. The loss in the natural gas sector was due to a drop in demand and should be recouped during the winter heating season.

Manitoba Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation providing electricity to over 542,000 Manitobans and natural gas service to over 267,000 customers.