Georgia Power parent company reports $422 million in earnings

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Southern Co., the parent company for Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear, today reported first quarter earnings of $422.3 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $494.5 million, or 60 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

Revenues for the first quarter were $4.01 billion, compared with $4.16 billion for the same period a year ago, a 3.5 percent decrease.

Earnings were negatively affected by a return to more normal temperatures for the period, as compared with abnormally cold weather during in 2010.

"Activity among our industrial customers has nearly reached pre-recession levels, and we expect that momentum to continue as the year progresses," said Southern Co. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Fanning. "While the overall pace of economic recovery remains measured, we are confident in the fundamental strength of our service territory and in our core business strategy focused on exceptional customer satisfaction, industry-leading reliability and prices below the national average."

Full-year industrial sales for 2010 increased 7.7 percent compared with 2009, and were further bolstered by a 6.7 percent increase in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the first quarter of 2010.

A recent company survey shows that in 2011, one-third of the largest industrial customers in Georgia expect increases in employment and 60 percent anticipate increases in production.

Kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern's four-state service area decreased 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the first quarter of 2010. Residential electricity sales decreased 12.6 percent, while commercial sales decreased 3.3 percent.

Total energy sales to Southern Co. customers in the Southeast, including wholesale sales, decreased 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.

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