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DUFF & PHELPS RAISES RATING UPGRADE GEORGIA POWER COMPANY (PARENT: SOUTHERN COMPANY)

         DUFF & PHELPS RAISES RATING UPGRADE GEORGIA POWER COMPANY
                       (PARENT:  SOUTHERN COMPANY)
    CHICAGO, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. today raised its ratings of Georgia Power Company's first mortgage bonds and collateralized pollution control revenue bonds to 'A-' (Single-A- Minus) from 'BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus); noncollateralized pollution control revenue bonds to 'BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus) from 'BBB' (Triple-B); and preferred stock to 'BBB' (Triple-B) from 'BBB-' (Triple-B-Minus).  The above ratings apply to outstanding issues and those remaining on a shelf registration.  Georgia Power's variable rate first mortgage bonds (Letter of Credit: Bank of Tokyo) are reaffirmed at Duff 1+ (One-Plus).
    This further upgrade of Georgia Power's securities (the debt securities had been upgraded one level in December) recognizes several refinements to the company's budget which should permit additional strengthening of credit protection measures.  Debt leverage is expected to show significant improvement versus prior forecasts.  Construction expenditures for 1991 were sharply under budget, with further cuts for 1992-94 made in the company's newly filed integrated resource plan. Such measures will reduce Georgia Power's new money needs and result in lower interest expense. Indeed, much of the company's future external funding should be for re-financing.  Additional savings are expected to be met through a program to further reduce operating expenses.
    Georgia Power's management has demonstrated a commitment to controlling costs, particularly in view of a less than expected rate settlement in 1991.  Georgia Power's new resource plan emphasizes energy conservation and load management, more efficient use of existing resources, and a flexible plan for adding new capacity. Recognition of such programs is contained in generally favorable legislation (House Bill 280) passed last year.
    Georgia Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides electric service to most of the state of Georgia.
    -0-                          2/18/92
    /CONTACT:  William A. Abrams, CFA, of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3112/
    (SO) CO:  Georgia Power Company ST:  Georgia IN:  UTI SU:  RTG AH -- NY080 -- 9999 02/18/92 14:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 18, 1992
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