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GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORPORATION REPORTS SLIGHT DECREASE IN 1991 EARNINGS DURING ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

 GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORPORATION REPORTS SLIGHT
 DECREASE IN 1991 EARNINGS DURING ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
 PARSIPPANY, N.J., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- General Public Utilities Corporation (NYSE: GPU) today reported earnings per share of $2.49 (unaudited) for 1991, compared to $2.51 per share for 1990 (restated to reflect a 2-for-1 stock split on May 29, 1991).
 Net income for 1991 was $275.9 million (unaudited), compared to $278.2 million for the year-ago period.
 The primary factors which contributed to earnings being essentially flat as compared to last year were decreased customer usage and a lower- than-normal increase in customer additions as a result of poor economic conditions, increased reserve capacity expense because of additional power purchase contracts, and increased capital costs associated with additions to utility plant.
 These decreases were substantially offset by increased residential and commercial sales due to warmer-than-normal weather and the effect of a November 1990 base rate increase at Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L).
 "GPU's core business remains providing reliable electricity at reasonable rates to our customers, who remail our No. 1 priority," said James R. Leva, newly elected president and chief executive officer of GPU. "Our customers are why we are in business, and we will continue to seek ways to improve our customer service.
 "Our aggressive cost-containment measures have paid off in that we are able to serve our customers better with less. We will deal with the current economy by continuing to control costs and keeping our customers' needs in focus. At the same time, we are committed to seeking additional opportunities to promote economic development in the communities we serve," Leva said.
 During 1991, GPU both changed an accounting policy with respect to the recognition of revenues and recognized certain future TMI-2 costs. Taken together, the two actions had no material effect on net income for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 1991.
 In the fourth quarter of 1991, the company recognized costs estimated to prepare Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) for long-term monitored storage and recognized the accident-related decommissioning costs for TMI-2 for the Pennsylvania subsidiaries -- Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) and Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec). After giving effect to the charge for TMI-2 related costs of $56.2 million, or $.51 per share, the company experienced a net loss of $3.9 million (unaudited) or a negative $.04 per share, compared with net income of $46.5 million, or $.42 per share for the same period in 1990.
 Also in the fourth quarter, GPU adopted a change in accounting policy resulting in recognition of electric operating revenues as electric services are rendered, rather than as they are billed. This change results in a better matching of the company's revenues and expenses. For accounting purposes the cumulative effect of this change as of Jan. 1, 1991, ($.53 per share) is reflected in restated first quarter results. Consequently, for the year, this change in accounting policy offsets entirely the fourth quarter TMI-2 charges against income.
 GPU is a registered electric utility holding company with three operating subsidiaries: JCP&L, Met-Ed and Penelec. The GPU System provides approximately 43 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for approximately 1.9 million customers.
 GENERAL PUBLIC UTILITIES CORPORATION
 (Unaudited)
 Three months ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Sales of electricity
 (gigawatt-hours) (A) 10,481 10,710
 Total revenues (000) (A) $818,379 $764,514
 Revenues other than those
 related to energy costs (000) (A) 577,485 532,708
 Energy cost revenues (000) (A) 240,894 231,806
 Earnings before TMI-2 charge (000) 52,309 46,499
 Less effect of TMI-2 charge 56,179 ---
 Net (loss)/income (000) (3,870) 46,499
 (Loss)/earnings per average share (B) ($.04) $.42
 Average common shares
 outstanding (000) (B) 110,815 110,775
 12 months ended 1991 1990
 Dec. 31 (Unaudited)
 Sales of electricity
 (gigawatt-hours) (A) 43,141 42,315
 Total revenues (000) (A) $3,371,599 $3,104,224
 Revenues other than those
 related to energy costs (000) (A) 2,397,730 2,223,229
 Energy cost revenues (000) (A) 973,869 880,995
 Net income (000) 275,882 278,234
 Earnings per average share (B) $2.49 $2.51
 Average common shares
 outstanding (000) (B) 110,798 110,763
 (A) 1990 reclassified to include energy sales to other utilities in accordance with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Accounting Release No. 14.
 (B) Reflects 2-for-1 stock split.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: John T. Fidler of General Public Utilities, 201-263-6479/
 (GPU) CO: General Public Utilities Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU: ERN


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