News Release
View printer-friendly version << Back
Unitil Reports Year-End Earnings

Hampton, NH - February 3, 2006: Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) at www.unitil.com today announced earnings for the year ended December 31, 2005 of $8.4 million, an increase of 4.8% over 2004 earnings of $8.0 million. Earnings per share were $1.51 for 2005 compared with earnings of $1.45 per share for 2004. Unitil's dividend in 2005 was $1.38 per share, representing an unbroken record of quarterly dividend payments since trading began in Unitil's common stock.

"Unitil completed its key objectives for 2005 and posted solid financial performance, with earnings up almost 5% for the year," said Robert G. Schoenberger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Unitil. "We have the plan, the people and the technology to continue to provide best-in-class customer service and superior shareholder returns."

Electric kilowatt-hour sales (kWh) increased 2.8% in 2005 compared to 2004, reflecting higher sales to both residential and commercial & industrial customers driven by growth and hotter summer weather in 2005. Natural gas firm therm sales increased 5.1% in 2005 compared to 2004. This increase was driven by gas sales to a new large industrial customer.

Total Operations & Maintenance (O&M) expense in 2005 increased $1.2 million compared to 2004. This increase reflects increases in salaries and compensation expenses of $0.6 million, higher retiree and employee benefit costs of $0.5 million and higher other operating expenses, net of $0.1 million.

Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes and Other increased $0.4 million or 1.4% in 2005 compared to 2004 reflecting higher depreciation expenses of $0.6 million, due to increased investment in utility plant additions, partially offset by lower amortization in 2005 on the Company's regulatory assets related to its former abandoned property investment in Seabrook Station, which became fully-amortized in the third quarter of 2005.

Interest Expense, net, increased $0.1 million, or 1.0% in 2005 compared to last year, principally due to higher interest expense on short-term borrowings partially offset by increased interest income from carrying charges earned on higher levels of regulatory assets.

Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2005 were $2.7 million, an increase of 6.2% over the fourth quarter of 2004. For the fourth quarter of 2005, earnings per share were $0.48 compared with earnings of $0.45 per share for the fourth quarter of 2004.

About Unitil

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 years 2005 and 2004:

kWh Sales (000's)
Total Year




2005

2004

% Change
Residential
688,318
652,763
5.4%
Commercial/Industrial
1,102,087
1,089,368
1.2%
      Total
1,790,405
1,742,131
2.8%

The following table details total kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales of electricity for the fourth quarters of 2005 and 2004:

kWh Sales (000's)
Fourth Quarter




2005

2004

% Change
Residential
159,292
153,743
3.6%
Commercial/Industrial
261,174
257,990
1.2%
      Total
420,466
411,733
2.1%

The following table details total firm therm sales of natural gas for the years 2005 and 2004:

Firm Therm Sales (000's)
Total Year




2005

2004

% Change
Residential
11,011
11,319
(2.7%)
Commercial/Industrial
13,321
11,832
12.6%
      Total
24,332
23,151
5.1%

The following table details total firm therm sales of natural gas for the fourth quarters of 2005 and 2004:

Firm Therm Sales (000's)
Fourth Quarter




2005

2004

% Change
Residential
2,433
2,497
(2.6%)
Commercial/Industrial
3,878
2,934
32.2%
      Total
6,311
5,431
16.2%



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


(unaudited)
Three Months Ended
December 31,
Condensed Financial Data
2005
2004



Operating Revenues
$ 64,052
$ 55,989
   Purchased Electric & Gas
45,910
37,053
   Conservation & Load Management
1,114
1,220
   Operation & Maintenance
6,211
5,575
   Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes & Other                          
6,331
7,832


      Operating Income
4,486
4,309
   Interest Expense, Net
1,761
1,716
   Other
19
43


      Net Income
2,706
2,550
      Preferred Dividends
39
38


      Earnings Applicable to Common Stock
$ 2,667
$ 2,512






 



Earnings per Common Share
0.48
0.45


Average Common Shares Outstanding
5,581,530
   5,541,200



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


Twelve Months Ended
December 31,
Condensed Financial Data
2005
2004



Operating Revenues
$ 232,145
$ 214,137
   Purchased Electric & Gas
159,359
143,426
   Conservation & Load Management
4,115
4,003
   Operation & Maintenance
24,514
23,297
   Depreciation, Amortization, Taxes & Other                           
28,616
28,218


      Operating Income
15,541
15,193
   Interest Expense, Net
6,841
6,774
   Other
147
193


      Net Income
8,553
8,226
      Preferred Dividends
156
215


      Earnings Applicable to Common Stock
$ 8,397
$ 8,011






 



Earnings per Common Share
1.51
1.45


Average Common Shares Outstanding
5,567,718
   5,524,835

For more information, visit Unitil at www.unitil.com or call Mark Collin at 603-773-6612.

Contact
Mark Collin
collin@unitil.com

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