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Robert Trigaux

Progress Energy Florida: Earnings, customers decrease in second quarter



Progressenergyweedonbartowplantwilliejallenjr Progress Energy Inc., a major North Carolina electricity supplier in west-central Florida and the Carolinas, reported a decline in earnings for the second quarter ended June 30. Ongoing earnings fell to $181 million, or 64 cents per share, compared to $199 million, or 76 cents per share, for the same period last year.

How did that break out? Progress Energy Florida generated 43 cents per share, down from 46 cents a year ago. And Progress Energy Carolinas generated 33 cents per share, down more significantly from 41 cents per share.

On the other hand, St. Petersburg-based Progress Energy Florida reported an 8,000 net decrease in the average number of customers for the three months ended June 30, 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. But Progress Energy Carolinas reported a 15,000 net increase in the average number of customers for the three months ended June 30, 2009, compared to the same period in 2008 .

CEO Bill Johnson, in remarks in a conference call on Tuesday morning, said the power company continues to see lower electricity usage in Florida. But he noted there are "some signs Florida is stabilizing" though it's too early to establish a trend. Here's a complete transcript of the conference call.

Progress Energy said it received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission for a $69.5 million increase in rates charged Florida customers for the second half of 2009. That consists of $6.5 million interim relief related to Progress Energy Florida's return on equity and $63 million limited relief for the Bartow plant repowering,

In the photo above, Progress Energy's former Bartow plant on Weedon Island in St. Petersburg, which ran on oil, is shown on the left. The construction of the new plant, which runs on cleaner natural gas, is now complete and located on the right of the photograph. The old plant produced 450 megawatts; the new plant produces up to 1,260 megawatts. (Photo by Willie J. Allen Jr. of the St. Petersburg Times.).

In the conference call, CEO Jobnson cited without identifying him by name, former Progress Energy Florida chief Jeff Lyash and his new job at the company's Raleigh headquarters to help manage the company's overall mix of energy in generating electricity.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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