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FLORIDA PROGRESS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INCREASE OF 9.9 PERCENT IN THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Progress Corporation (NYSE: FPC), parent of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Florida Power Corporation, today reported third-quarter earnings of $82 million, up 9.9 percent, compared with $74.6 million a year ago.
 Revenues for the third quarter of 1993 totaled $768.9 million, compared with $626.6 million for the same period in 1992. Earnings per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993, were 93 cents, compared with 86 cents a share a year ago.
 Increased revenues and higher earnings from Florida Power -- the largest subsidiary of Florida Progress -- were the main reasons for the improved results in the third quarter of 1993. Florida Power earned $81.5 million, or 92 cents per share, on revenues of $609 million in this year's third quarter, compared with earnings of $73 million, or 84 cents a share, on revenues of $549.9 million in 1992.
 A one-percent increase in the federal corporate income tax rate, and its related impact, lowered Florida Progress' consolidated earnings in the third quarter by $5.8 million. Retroactive to the beginning of this year, the higher tax rate was part of a new federal tax law that President Clinton signed in August. Florida Progress estimates that the increase will reduce 1993 earnings by a total of $6 million to $7 million. At Florida Power, the tax rate increase lowered third-quarter earnings by $2.3 million.
 Retail kilowatt-hour sales at Florida Power increased by 6.4 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same three-month period in 1992. Unusually hot and dry weather during the summer months, particularly in July and August, forced air conditioning equipment to work overtime across the utility's 32-county service territory.
 Six times during the third quarter, Florida Power's 1.2 million customers used record amounts of electricity. Never before had customers set so many records of power demand in one quarter. In the third quarter, the average residential customer used 3.4 percent more electricity, compared with last year's third quarter. Energy sales also were up for the quarter because the number of customers increased by about 3 percent over a year ago.
 Another factor contributing to increased revenues and higher earnings at the utility this year has been a 1992 decision by state regulators to grant Florida Power an $86 million base rate increase. The first phase of the increase went into effect in November 1992 and, in April of this year, the utility began collecting the second phase. The third, and final, part of the increase is set to go into effect next month.
 Earnings from Florida Progress' diversified operations for the quarter were $500,000, down from the $1.6 million earned in the third quarter of 1992. Earnings per share for the quarter were 1 cent a share, compared with 2 cents a share a year ago. Accounting changes resulting from the new tax law lowered earnings from diversified operations by $3.5 million in this year's third quarter. Strong earnings from the company's coal mining and transportation subsidiary helped offset the tax law's negative impact on earnings.
 Florida Progress is a diversified utility holding company with assets of more than $5.5 billion. Its principal subsidiary is Florida Power, the state's second-largest electric utility. Diversified operations include coal mining and transportation, life insurance, real estate and lending and leasing.
 FLORIDA PROGRESS CORPORATION
 Three Months Ended 12 Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Revenues from
 Continuing
 Opera-
 tions $768,900,000 $626,600,000 $2,309,000,000 $2,102,400,000
 Net Income:
 Continuing
 Opera-
 tions $82,000,000 $ 74,600,000 $ 194,700,000 $ 166,500,000
 Discontinued
 Operations
 & SFAS 109 --
 Deferred
 Taxes --- --- 800,000 (2,400,000)
 Consoli-
 dated $82,000,000 $ 74,600,000 $ 195,500,000 $ 164,100,000
 Earnings Per Share (EPS):
 Florida Power
 Corporation $.92 $.84 $2.14 $1.91
 Diversified .01 .02 .07 .07
 Continuing
 Operations .93 .86 2.21 1.98
 Discontinued
 Operations
 & SFAS 109 --
 Deferred
 Taxes --- --- .01 (.03)
 Consolidated $.93 $.86 $2.22 $1.95
 Average common
 shares
 out-
 standing 88,576,989 86,738,737 87,896,357 84,302,047
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Sally Everett of Florida Progress, 813-824-6440/
 (FPC)


CO: Florida Progress Corporation ST: Florida IN: UTI SU: ERN

AW-JB -- FL016 -- 5260 10/21/93 13:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
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