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Unitil Reports Third Quarter Earnings

Hampton, NH - November 4, 2002: Unitil Corporation (AMEX: UTL) (www.unitil.com) today announced earnings per common share of $0.29 for the third quarter of 2002, an improvement of $0.01 compared to the third quarter of 2001. Higher electric sales primarily due to a series of heat waves this summer, and lower operating expenses, led to this earnings improvement.

Unitil's total electric kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales were 9.5% higher in the third quarter of 2002 versus prior year, due in part to higher-than-usual temperatures. Our service territories experienced 23 days of over-90-degree temperatures this quarter. Third quarter gas firm therm sales were up 1.4% compared to the prior year. Year to date, gas firm therm sales were 12.4% lower than last year, due to extremely mild winter weather in the first quarter of 2002.

Operating Revenues were lower for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2002 compared to the prior period, primarily reflecting lower wholesale electric and gas supply prices. Both electric and gas supply costs are collected from customers through periodic cost reconciliation mechanisms, and therefore, changes in these costs do not affect the Company's net income.

For the 12 months ended September 30, 2002, earnings from operations were $0.95 per share versus $1.42 for the 12 months trailing September 30, 2001. The most recent 12-month period reflects the impact of a $0.50 per share write-down in the market value of non-utility investments taken by the Company in the fourth quarter of 2001.

"We are pleased with our improved operating results for the quarter," said Unitil CEO Bob Schoenberger. "We have continued to make good progress on key regulatory and business initiatives, which we set out at the beginning of the year, and are on target to position the Company for continued success in 2003."

On January 25, 2002, the Company's New Hampshire electric utility subsidiaries Concord Electric Company (CECo), Exeter & Hampton Electric Company (E&H), and Unitil Power Corp. (UPC) filed a comprehensive electric restructuring proposal with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC). This proposal included the introduction of customer choice, the divestiture of UPC's power supply portfolio, the recovery of stranded costs, the combination of CECo and E&H into a single electric distribution utility, and new distribution rates for the combined entity. On October 25, 2002, the NHPUC approved a multiparty settlement on all the major issues in the proceeding, including an increase of approximately $2.0 million in annual distribution revenue, effective December 1, 2002.

On May 17, 2002, the Company's Massachusetts distribution utility subsidiary, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company (FG&E), filed revised rates designed to increase annual base distribution revenues by approximately $3.2 million for electric service and $3.4 million for gas service. The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (MDTE) completed hearings on the rate filings in September, and a final order is due on or before December 3, 2002.

On October 15, 2002, the MDTE issued an order approving a settlement agreement filed jointly by FG&E and the Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) regarding the Company's Transition Charge reconciliation mechanism, which provides for the recovery of FG&E's restructuring-related stranded costs. The settlement resolves issues raised by the AG concerning FG&E's compliance with the Massachusetts Electric Restructuring Act and related MDTE orders.

FG&E has agreed with the Environmental Protection Agency to take environmental remedial action at its former electric generation station located at Sawyer-Passway, including abatement and removal of asbestos-containing materials. The Company believes it has sufficient insurance coverage to complete this remediation.

As a result of declining interest rates and the recent sharp declines in equity markets, the Company - in accordance with requirements of SFAS #87 "Employers' Accounting for Pensions" - may be required to record a reduction to equity as a component of comprehensive income at the end of the fourth quarter. This non-cash, non-income-related adjustment could occur if the fair market value of pension assets is less than the accumulated pension benefit obligations at the annual measurement date of December 31, 2002. This accounting requirement would have no effect on net income.

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 Concord Electric Company, Exeter & Hampton Electric Company, 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. The Usource product line is available at www.usourceonline.com

This news release contains forward-looking statements which are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. 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; variations in weather, changes in the regulatory environment, customers’ preferences on energy sources, general economic conditions, increased competition and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict, and many of which are beyond the control of the Company.

Unitil Corporation
(Amounts In Thousands, except Shares and Per Share Data)


Three Months Ended
September 30,

2002
2001
Operating Revenues
$48,007
$49,484
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item
$1,378
$1,354
Extraordinary Item
---
($3,937)
Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$1,378
($2,583)
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$0.33
$0.31
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.04)
($0.03)
Earnings Per Share before Extraordinary Item
$0.29
$0.28
 
Net income after Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$0.33
($0.52)
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.04)
($0.03)
Earnings Per Share after Extraordinary Item
$0.29
($0.55)
 
Average Common Shares Outstanding
4,768,825
4,760,744
 

Nine Months Ended
September 30,

2002
2001
Operating Revenues
$137,813
$159,593
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item
$4,363
$4,681
Extraordinary Item
---
($3,937)
Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$4,363
$744
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$1.01
$1.16
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.09)
($0.18)
Earnings Per Share before Extraordinary Item
$0.92
$0.98
 
Net income after Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$1.01
$0.33
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.09)
($0.18)
Earnings Per Share after Extraordinary Item
$0.92
$0.15
 
Average Common Shares Outstanding Diluted
4,767,796
4,759,556
 

Twelve Months Ended
September 30,

2002
2001
Operating Revenues
$185,242
$208,845
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item
$4,452
$6,809
Extraordinary Item
---
($3,937)
Net Income Applicable to Common Stock
$4,452
$2,872
 
Net income before Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$1.04
$1.70
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.09)
($0.28)
Earnings Per Share before Extraordinary Item
$0.95
$1.42
 
Net income after Extraordinary Item:


from Utility Operations
$1.04
$0.88
from Non-regulated Operations
($0.09)
($0.28)
Earnings Per Share after Extraordinary Item
$0.95
$0.59
 
Average Common Shares Outstanding Diluted
4,766,001
4,752,662

Contact
Mark Collin
collin@unitil.com

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