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IDAHO POWER POSTS SECOND-QUARTER GAINS

 IDAHO POWER POSTS SECOND-QUARTER GAINS
 BOISE, Idaho, July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Idaho Power Co. (NYSE: IDA)


today reported second-quarter earnings on common stock of $11.0 million, or 32 cents per share, an increase from last year's $8.9 million, or 26 cents per share. Net income for the quarter was $12.4 million, compared to $10.0 million in 1991.
 For the six months ended June 30, earnings were 67 cents per share compared with 70 cents in 1991. During the same period net income increased slightly.
 "While our second-quarter results were not strong by historical standards," said Vice President and Chief Financial Officer LaMont Keen, "They were more positive than we might have expected in light of the financial impacts this year's drought is having on our power supply situation."
 A 15.6-percent increase in retail customer demand for electricity during the quarter resulted in a $13.8-million increase in revenues, a 12.4-percent improvement over 1991's level. While significant increases in demand were recorded among commercial and industrial customers, the boost was due largely to a 75.2-percent increase in demand by irrigators -- forced by spring's unusually high temperatures and sparse precipitation levels to water their crops earlier and longer than normal. Second-quarter irrigation revenues were the highest on record. On the flip-side, the warm, dry weather produced an 8.7-percent decline in residential customer demand for electricity by reducing home heating requirements.
 The same conditions that pressured irrigation customers again impacted the company's power production costs. Southern Idaho's continuing drought and resulting low streamflows forced the company to rely on its coal-fired power plants for 39 percent of its energy supply during the quarter and on power purchases for 30 percent, with the balance provided by the company's 16 low-cost hydroelectric facilities. Normally hydro meets about three-fourths of the company's power supply requirements during the second quarter.
 This contributed to a 70.1-percent, or $7.9 million, increase in fuel costs. It also resulted in a 62.4-percent increase in the cost of purchasing power from others to meet customer demand, $9.4 million more than was spent during the second quarter of 1991. Another warm weather and drought-related influence was company sales to other utilities -- normally a strong increment of second-quarter financial performance -- which declined 22.5 percent or $2.2 million.
 A temporary 3.9-percent rate increase for the company's customers in Idaho granted by regulators to address increased drought-related costs became effective May 6 and is projected to increase revenues $15 million during its one-year duration. To match the timing of such revenues to be received next year with the expenses they were intended to cover, the company deferred $5 million of its extraordinary power supply expenses for January through April of 1992 into 1993. That contributed to an $8.1-million or 20.6-percent reduction in other operation and maintenance expenses for the second quarter.
 Keen cited the addition of 6,310 new residential customers in the past year -- 2,762 during the second quarter -- as evidence of the economic growth and viability in the company's service territory. "However, given this year's difficult power supply cost situation, we anticipate no dramatic improvements in our results over the next few months."
 The company's results for the quarter ending June 30 were: operating revenues of $124.7 million for 1992 and $110.9 million for 1991; net income of $12.4 million for 1992 and $10.0 million for 1991; earnings on common of $11.0 million for 1992 and $8.9 million for 1991; and earnings per share of 32 cents for 1992 and 26 cents for 1991.
 For the 12 months ended June 30, results were: operating revenues of $490.8 million for 1992 and $475.0 million for 1991; net income of $57.9 million for 1992 and $64.0 million for 1991; earnings on common of $52.3 million for 1992 and $59.7 million for 1991; and earnings per share of $1.53 for 1992 and $1.76 for 1991.
 -0- 7/31/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Beaman of Idaho Power, 208-383-2461/
 (IDA) CO: Idaho Power Co. ST: Idaho IN: UTI SU: ERN


LM-SC -- SE007 -- 5786 07/31/92 17:07 EDT
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Date:Jul 31, 1992
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