Energy distributor and retailer Unitil has reported net income of $1.6 million for the third quarter of 2007, compared to $1.8 million in the prior-year period. However, for the first nine months of 2007, the company's net income stood at $5.9 million, compared to $5.2 million in the first nine months of 2006.
Unitil said that earnings for the third quarter of 2007 reflect higher depreciation and interest expenses, partially offset by higher electric and gas utility sales margins and improved profits from Usource, its non-regulated energy-brokering business.
Earnings per common share (EPS) were $0.28 for the three months ended September 30, 2007, compared to $0.32 in the third quarter of 2006. For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, EPS were $1.04, compared to $0.93 for 2006, an increase of $0.11 per share, or 12%.
Total electric kilowatt (kWh) sales decreased 3.9% and 1.4% in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2006. The lower kWh sales in 2007 compared to 2006 were primarily driven by cooler summer weather and energy conservation by the firm’s residential, and commercial and industrial (C&I) customers.
Natural gas sales in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007, increased 6.1% and 8%, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2006. The increase in gas sales in 2007 reflects a colder winter heating season and higher natural gas sales to C&I customers.
Usource achieved increased revenues of $0.4 million and $1 million in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2007, increases of 67% and 56% respectively, over the comparable 2006 periods.