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HOUSTON INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED REPORTS RESULTS

 HOUSTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston Industries Incorporated (HI) today announced consolidated earnings of $27.1 million or $.21 per share for the first quarter of 1993, compared to consolidated earnings of $51.9 million or $.40 per share for the first quarter of 1992. Consolidated earnings for the twelve months ended March 31, 1993 were $409.8 million or $3.16 per share, compared to $414.5 million, or $3.21 per share for the same period a year earlier. HI's earnings for the first quarter of 1992 would have been approximately $14.8 million had it not been for the adoption of a change in accounting for electric revenues partially offset by the recognition of charges related to the restructuring program by Houston Lighting & Power Company (HL&P), HI's electric utility subsidiary as discussed below.
 HL&P reported income after preferred dividends of $25.1 million for the first quarter of 1993, compared to income of $59.2 million for the first quarter of 1992.
 The decline in HL&P's first quarter 1993 earnings was due to nonrecurring items during the same period of the previous year which had the net effect of
increasing reported earnings. Earnings for the first quarter of 1992 benefited from $142.7 million of pre-tax income associated with the adoption of a change in accounting principle which reflected a change in the timing of recognition of revenue from electricity sales. Partially offsetting this effect was an $86 million pre-tax charge recorded in March 1992 to reflect costs related to the elimination of approximately 1,600 positions as part of HL&P's restructuring program. Excluding these two nonrecurring items, HL&P's earnings for the first quarter of 1992 would have been $22.0 million.
 HL&P's interest expense and preferred dividends decreased $11.8 million, primarily due to refinancing activities and reduction of long- term debt levels. These savings were offset by increases in property taxes, depreciation and amortization, and operating expenses. The increased operating expenses include the recognition of postretirement benefit costs, as required by the adoption of a new accounting standard, and costs related to the sale of unbilled receivables. Residential and firm industrial kilowatt-hour (KWH) sales for the first quarter decreased approximately 1 percent each from the same period in 1992, while commercial KWH sales were up 1 percent.
 For the twelve months ended March 31, 1993, HL&P had income after preferred dividends of $407.8 million, down from $451.4 million a year earlier. In addition to the effects discussed above, earnings for this period were also negatively impacted by an increase in maintenance expense of $24.4 million, primarily production maintenance expense, and a decrease of 3 percent in residential KWH sales, due to milder weather than the prior twelve months.
 KBLCOM Incorporated (KBLCOM), HI's cable television subsidiary, experienced a net loss of $4.1 million in the first quarter of 1993, compared to a net loss of $8.3 million for the same period last year. For the twelve months ended March 31, 1993, KBLCOM reported a loss of $17.0 million, compared to $51.3 million for the same period last year. The improvements in KBLCOM's results are primarily the result of increased revenues, reduced interest expense and increased profits from its jointly-owned cable television partnership, Paragon Communications.
 Utility Fuels, Inc. (UFI), HI's coal supply subsidiary, reported earnings of $6.0 million for the first quarter of 1993, compared to $6.3 million for the same period a year earlier. UFI's net income for the twelve months ended March 31, 1993, was $27.0 million, compared to $24.6 million in 1992.
 HI is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Sandy Brendler, 713-629-3123, Dan Bulla, 713-629-3120, for Houston Industries Incorporated/
 /FIRST ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (HOU)


CO: ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN SM -- NY040 -- 1909 04/28/93 10:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 28, 1993
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