Profits surge at Progress

Published May 8, 2007

Progress Energy posted a six-fold increase in profits for the first quarter, overcoming flat power sales in Florida due to what the company called the mildest January in 30 years.

Among the big reasons behind soaring profits reported Monday: The North Carolina-based utility nearly doubled its production of synthetic fuel, coal or coal waste treated with chemicals.

Among financial highlights:

- Net income was $275-million, or $1.08 per share, compared with $45-million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Quarterly revenue rose to $2.33-billion from $2.22-billion last year.

- Electricity sales were up 4 percent to nearly $2.1-billlion for the quarter. Most of the increase came from higher power use among Carolina customers.

- Florida power sales rose less than 1 percent due to the mild January, said chief financial officer Peter Scott. Residential sales, which make up half of Progress' electric revenue, fell 3 percent from the year-earlier quarter.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.