Southern Co. reports higher profits

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ATLANTA – Southern Co. reported a higher profit for its second quarter Wednesday, benefiting from an insurance recovery gain, but suffering lower revenue from a mild spring.

The Atlanta-based electric utility holding company reported profits of $623 million, or 71 cents a share, up from $604 million, or 71 cents a share during the same period a year ago.

Total revenues for the quarter declined 7.5 percent to $4.18 billion from $4.52 billion a year ago. The company said its earnings were negatively affected by near-normal weather, compared with an unusually warm second quarter in 2011.

Total energy sales to customers, including wholesale sales, decreased 3 percent.

Georgia Power’s operating revenue dropped nearly 11 percent for the quarter. Residential energy sales across Southern’s four state territory of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, fell 4.3 percent.

‘‘In the first six months of 2012, our traditional operating companies have already added 20,000 new residential customers – more than we originally projected for the entire year,” said Southern Co. chairman and CEO Thomas Fanning. “And with new economic development successes – representing more than 7,200 new jobs announced in just the last three months – the future continues to look bright for our region.”

The company’s earnings included 2 cents a share from an insurance claim that Southern filed after settling a 2009 lawsuit. The suit stemmed from the 2003 bankruptcy of Mirant Corp., an owner and operator of coal and natural gas plants.


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