Progress Energy profit slips

STAFF WRITERAugust 4, 2009 

Progress Energy's second-quarter earnings slipped as the recession saps energy use but the power company has maintained performance with aggressive cost-cutting measures. The Raleigh-based electric utility reported ongoing earnings of 64 cents a share, or $181 million, down from 76 cents for the same three-month period a year ago. The company's performance for April, May and June fell short of analysts' expectations of 67 cents a share. "Despite the lingering effects of the economic recession, our company has performed well," CEO Bill Johnson said in a statement. Johnson said that the company is focused on three goals: significant expansion of energy efficiency programs for customers, greater investment in cost-effective renewable energy and building new power plants to meet customer energy demand. Progress has 3.1 million electricity customers in the Carolinas and Florida, and about 11,000 employees. In the past year Progress has seen customer growth shrink in Florida in a wave of real-estate foreclosures. The slowdown in customer growth forced the company to cut 300 positions in Florida, implement cost-cutting measures companywide and delay plans for some new power plants.

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