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1991 EARNINGS REPORTED BY MINNESOTA POWER

 1991 EARNINGS REPORTED BY MINNESOTA POWER
 DULUTH, Minn., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota Power (NYSE: MPL)


reported today that its 1991 earnings per share of common stock were $2.46, compared with $2.37 in 1990.
 Total operating revenues in 1991 were $484 million, compared to $477 million in 1990. Net income was $75.5 million, versus $74.6 million in the previous year.
 "Income from electric operations in 1991 was comparable to 1990 and our paper, water and coal subsidiaries were profitable in 1991, though our Florida water properties were denied adequate rates. These subsidiaries contributed about 18 percent of 1991 earnings," said Arend Sandbulte, chairman and president.
 "Also contributing favorably to our financial performance in 1991 were the sale of steam facilities and the condemnation sale of some Florida water plant assets. A favorable court decision involving a disputed power sales contract added to 1991 earnings," Sandbulte said.
 The 1991 earnings include 13 cents per share and 14 cents per share, respectively, resulting from the disposition of steam and water plant assets. Earnings also include 20 cents per share as a result of a federal court decision upholding a contract with a former large power customer.
 Earnings in 1990 included 32 cents from the sale of a portion of the company's generating capacity and six cents from a condemnation sale of some Florida water assets.
 Fourth quarter 1991 financial results:
 -- Earnings per share of 70 cents, compared to 43 cents during 1990's fourth quarter.
 -- Revenues of $123 million compared to $122 million during the comparable period in 1990.
 -- And, net income of $19.8 million, versus $14.6 million for the same period in 1990.
 Significant contributions to earnings per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991, include five cents from the favorable court decision and 13 cents from the sale of steam plant assets.
 Minnesota Power provides electric service throughout upper Minnesota, while subsidiary companies are involved in water and wastewater treatment utilities, paper production and coal mining.
 MINNESOTA POWER CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Fourth Quarter
 Dec. 1991 Dec. 1990
 Operating revenues
 Electric $102,175 $101,658
 Water 11,389 11,483
 Coal 5,854 5,378
 Gas 3,807 3,453
 Total operating revenues 123,225 121,972
 Operating expenses
 Fuel for electric generation 23,420 22,900
 Purchased power 22,997 22,708
 Other operation 29,804 31,536
 Maintenance 5,652 7,601
 Depreciation 9,979 8,759
 Property and general taxes 9,961 9,649
 Income taxes 3,547 3,068
 Total operating expenses 105,360 106,221
 Operating income 17,865 15,751
 Other income and (deductions)
 Income from securities investments 6,862 3,789
 Income from equity investments 3,743 3,157
 Deferred costs - capacity
 transactions --- ---
 Miscellaneous(a) 7,248 3,248
 Allowance for funds used during
 construction 275 100
 Income taxes (2,409) 600
 Total other income and deductions 15,719 10,894
 Income before interest charges 33,584 26,645
 Interest charges
 Interest on long-term debt 10,710 10,961
 Other interest and amortization 3,547 1,329
 Allowance for borrowed funds used
 during construction (461) (278)
 Total interest charges 13,796 12,012
 Net income $19,788 $14,633
 Dividends on preferred stock (1,023) (1,110)
 Tax benefit of ESOP dividends 2,051 ---
 Earnings available for common stock $20,816 $13,523
 Earnings per average share of common $0.70 $0.43
 Average common shares outstanding 29,541 30,582
 Year to Date
 Dec. 1991 Dec. 1990
 Operating revenues
 Electric $407,772 $402,212
 Water 43,268 42,150
 Coal 21,400 21,588
 Gas 11,704 11,527
 Total operating revenues 484,144 477,477
 Operating expenses
 Fuel for electric generation 83,795 95,288
 Purchased power 104,706 76,345
 Other operation 111,893 116,033
 Maintenance 26,095 26,809
 Depreciation 37,160 35,695
 Property and general taxes 39,023 38,426
 Income taxes 12,178 16,280
 Total operating expenses 414,850 404,876
 Operating income 69,294 72,601
 Other income and (deductions)
 Income from securities investments 35,922 28,294
 Income from equity investments 12,791 8,437
 Deferred costs - capacity
 transactions --- 9,209
 Miscellaneous(a) 21,733 3,866
 Allowance for funds used during
 construction 704 190
 Income taxes (14,812) (1,437)
 Total other income and deductions 56,338 48,559
 Income before interest charges 125,632 121,160
 Interest charges
 Interest on long-term debt 42,563 42,470
 Other interest and amortization 8,776 4,797
 Allowance for borrowed funds used
 during construction (1,188) (677)
 Total interest charges 50,151 46,590
 Net income $75,481 $74,570
 Dividends on preferred stock (4,311) (4,550)
 Tax benefit of ESOP dividends 3,505 ---
 Earnings available for common stock $74,675 $70,020
 Earnings per average share of common $2.46 $2.37
 Average common shares outstanding 30,362 29,600
 (a) Miscellaneous for the year ending Dec. 31, 1991, includes pretax income of $10.1 million from a favorable court decision, $6.7 million from the sale of water plant assets, and $9.2 million from operations and the disposition of the steam project.
 -0- 01/21/92
 /CONTACT: Warren F. Hudelson of Minnesota Power, 218-723-3934/
 (MPL) CO: Minnesota Power ST: Minnesota IN: OIL SU: ERN


KH -- MN013 -- 2079 01/21/92 17:01 EST
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