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SCANA earnings up 39% for 2015

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Staff Report
Published Feb. 22, 2016

SCANA Corp. announced last week that earnings for 2015 rose nearly 39% over the previous year’s results, largely due to the sale of two subsidiaries. For the year, earnings totaled $746 million, an increase of 38.7% compared with earnings of $538 million for 2014.

The year’s earnings include $201 million net of tax gain from the sale of Carolina Gas Transmission and SCANA Communications Inc., the Cayce-based energy provider said.

“2015 was certainly an eventful year,” said Jimmy Addison, SCANA executive vice president and CFO. “We sold two subsidiaries during the first quarter of the year, experienced a thousand-year flood in parts of our SCE&G service territory, had a change in the structure of the new nuclear construction team, and again experienced a positive electric margin impact from weather in both the winter and summer seasons, with abnormal weather contributing 8 cents per share to electric margins.”

SCANA’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $98 million compared with $105 million for the fourth quarter of 2014.

SCANA’s principal subsidiary, S.C. Electric & Gas Co., recorded earnings of $480 million for the year compared with $458 million in 2014.

Electric margins were higher due primarily to a Base Load Review Act rate increase and customer growth, the company said.

In September, the Public Service Commission approved an average increase of 2.57% in retail electric rates to cover SCE&G’s financing costs for constructing two 1,117-megawatt reactor units at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. State-owned Santee Cooper is SCE&G’s partner in the project.

For the full year 2015, abnormal weather (compared to historical average) increased earnings by 8 cents per share, compared with 21 cents per share for the full year 2014. For the fourth quarter of 2015, SCE&G reported earnings of $75 million matching the total for the fourth quarter of 2014.

At year-end 2015, SCE&G was serving approximately 698,000 electric customers and 347,000 natural gas customers, up 1.5% and 2.7%, respectively, over 2014.

PSNC Energy, SCANA’s North Carolina-based retail natural gas distribution subsidiary, reported 2015 earnings of $54 million compared with $55 million. Reported earnings in the fourth quarter of 2015 were $24 million compared with $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.  At year-end 2015, PSNC Energy was serving approximately 534,000 customers, an increase of 2.5% over the previous year.
SCANA Energy, the company’s retail natural gas marketing business in Georgia, reported 2015 earnings of $19 million compared with $26 million 2014. Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2015 were $1 million compared with $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.  These decrease in earnings is primarily attributable to warmer than normal weather, leading to lower demand for fuel.

SCANA also announced that its board today raised the quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock to 57½ cents per share from 54½ cents per share, an increase of 5.5% payable April 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 10.

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