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Unitil Reports Third Quarter Earnings

Hampton, NH - October 28, 2004: Unitil Corporation (AMEX: UTL) (www.unitil.com) today announced net income of $1.2 million for the third quarter of 2004. Through the first nine months of 2004, net income was $5.5 million, an increase of 3% over the same period in 2003.

Earnings per common share were $0.22 for the third quarter of 2004 compared with earnings of $0.30 per share for the third quarter of 2003. Through the first nine months of 2004, earnings per share were $1.00 compared with earnings of $1.12 per share in the first nine months of 2003. The Earnings per share figures in 2004 reflect approximately 16% more shares outstanding due to the Company's public offering in the fourth quarter of 2003.

"Third quarter results reflect the effects of an unseasonably mild summer," said Unitil Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert G. Schoenberger. "The mild summer weather reduced electricity usage for air conditioning and other cooling purposes. For the nine month period, Unitil continued to enjoy steady customer growth and increased net income over the prior year period. We are also pleased with the continued progress of our unregulated energy brokering business, Usource."

Total electric kilowatt-hour sales (kWh) decreased 1.0% in the three months ended September 30, 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. This decrease reflects lower sales to residential customers, driven primarily by 33% cooler summer weather in 2004 as compared to 2003, offset partially by increased kWh sales to commercial and industrial customer classes. For the nine months ended September 30, 2004, total electric kWh sales increased 1.6% compared to the same period in 2003. Total natural gas firm therm sales increased 2.7% in the three months ended September 30, 2004, compared to the same period in 2003, and decreased 6.3% in the nine months ended September 30, 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. Gas sales were negatively impacted by milder weather in the first nine months of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003.

Total sales margin (Revenues less Purchased Electric and Gas and Conservation & Load Management) was $15.4 million and $49.0 million in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2004. Total sales margin for the three month period in 2004 was essentially even with the same period in 2003 while total sales margin for the nine month period in 2004 represents an increase of $0.3 million, or 0.7%, as compared to the same period in 2003. The increase in total sales margin for the nine month period reflects increased kWh unit sales partially offset by lower gas unit sales. In addition, revenues from nonregulated operations showed steady improvement, increasing by $77,000, or 29.5%, and $231,000, or 27.3% in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2004, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2003.

Total Operation & Maintenance expenses increased $0.7 million, or 4.3%, in the first nine months of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003. This increase reflects higher compensation and retiree and employee benefits costs and the recording, by the Company in the third quarter, of a reserve for uncollectible amounts of ($0.2 million) from a large customer that filed for bankruptcy in September.

Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes and Other increased $0.1 million, or less than 1.0%, in the first nine months of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003. In the first nine months of 2004, Interest Expense, net, decreased by $0.8 million as compared to the same period in 2003.

Unitil is a public utility holding company with subsidiaries providing electric service in New Hampshire and electric and gas service in Massachusetts and energy services throughout the Northeast. Its subsidiaries include Unitil Energy Systems, Inc., Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Unitil Power Corp., Unitil Realty Corp., Unitil Service Corp. and its unregulated business segment Unitil Resources, Inc. Usource L.L.C. is a subsidiary of Unitil Resources, Inc.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Certain factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the following: variations in weather; changes in the regulatory environment; customers' preferences on energy sources; general economic conditions; increased competition; fluctuations in supply, demand, transmission capacity and prices for energy commodities; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict, and many of which are beyond the control of Unitil Corporation.

The following table details total kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales of electricity for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2004 and 2003, by major customer class.

kWh Sales (000's)
Three Months Ended September 30,




2004

2003

% Change
Residential
168,290
174,657
(3.6%)
Commercial/Industrial
291,236
289,491
0.6%
      Total
459,529
464,148
1.6%

kWh Sales (000's)
Nine Months Ended September 30,




2004

2003

% Change
Residential
499,021
497,164
0.4%
Commercial/Industrial
831,378
811,990
2.4%
      Total
1,330,399
1,309,154
1.6%

The following table details total firm therm sales of natural gas for the three months ended March 31, 2004 and 2003, by major customer class.

Firm Therm Sales (000's)
Three Months Ended September 30,




2004

2003

% Change
Residential
777
784
(0.9%)
Commercial/Industrial
1,087
1,031
5.4%
      Total
1,864
1,815
(2.7%)

Firm Therm Sales (000's)
Nine Months Ended September 30,




2004

2003

% Change
Residential
8,822
9,454
(6.7%)
Commercial/Industrial
1,087
1,031
5.4%
      Total
1,864
1,815
2.7%

Unitil Corporation
Selected Financial Information (Amounts In Thousands, except Shares and Per Share Data) (Unaudited)


Three Months Ended
September 30,
Condensed Financial Data
2004
2003



Operating Revenues
$ 50,049
$ 52,892
   Purchased Electric & Gas and Conservation & Load Management
34,686
37,514
   Operation & Maintenance
6,038
5,533
   Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes & Other
6,370
6,493


      Operating Income
2,955
3,352
   Interest Expense, Net
1,648
1,926
   Other
51
(71)


      Net Income
1,266
1,497
      Preferred Dividends
59
59


      Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$ 1,207
$ 1,438

Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Condensed Financial Data
2004
2003



Operating Revenues
$ 158,148
$ 167,323
   Purchased Electric & Gas and Conservation & Load Management
109,150
118,661
   Operation & Maintenance
17,728
16,989
   Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes & Other
20,386
20,277


      Operating Income
10,884
11,396
   Interest Expense, Net
5,058
5,853
   Other
150
31


      Net Income
5,676
5,512
      Preferred Dividends
176
177


      Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$ 5,500
$ 5,335
 

Three Months Ended
September 30,
Earnings per Common Share





Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$ .22
$ .30
Average Common Shares Outstanding
5,529,433
4,783,642

Nine Months Ended
September 30,
Earnings per Common Share





Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$ 1.00
$ 1.12
Average Common Shares Outstanding
5,519,380
4,770,469

For more information, visit Unitil at www.unitil.com or

Contact
Mark Collin
collin@unitil.com

Corporate Office
Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720
800/999-6501