Printer Friendly

PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT CO. PREPARING TO MEET CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE; CHAIRMAN TELLS SHAREOWNERS ATTENDING ANNUAL MEETING

 HARRISBURG, Pa., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.'s (NYSE: PPL)(PP&L) -- foreseeing dramatic changes within the electric utility industry -- is preparing itself to take advantage of the opportunities that lie in the future, the company's top executive said today.
 Speaking at PP&L's 73rd Annual Meeting of Shareowners, William F. Hecht said, "The electric utility industry has entered a new age of competition. The future holds both challenge and opportunity. We can turn challenges into opportunities only by understanding and managing change."
 Hecht, PP&L's chairman, president and chief executive officer, told the 805 shareowners attending the meeting that the company will meet future challenges by focusing on providing the highest quality service at the lowest possible price.
 Continuing this basic operational philosophy, he said, "will translate into benefits for our customers and will result in strong financial performance. It also will mean that PP&L will be one of the winners in a new era of competition."
 Also at the meeting, held at the Harrisburg Marriott, shareowners re-elected six members to the company's board of directors and ratified the appointment of an independent auditor.
 In his remarks, Hecht, who took over PP&L's helm with the retirement of John T. Kauffman at the end of 1992, said the electric industry will be vastly different in the future because of the National Energy Act. Passed in October, the act sets the tone for restructuring the industry in ways that encourage competition among electricity suppliers.
 "The new energy act makes it much easier for non-utility companies to build power plants," Hecht said. "That means there will be competition in the generation of electricity -- a part of the business that always had been controlled by utilities."
 The nation's new energy policy also will open up utility-owned transmission systems to competitors, and will serve to at least partially deregulate the price of electricity.
 "The changes that are taking place provide us with many opportunities," Hecht said. "These changes, and increased competition in our business, can be very beneficial to PP&L -- if we are ready to take advantage of the opportunities."
 The company is in a good position now, because it has been focusing for years on ways to lower costs. There have been two rate decreases in the past two years, and Hecht announced at a news conference prior to the meeting that PP&L has ruled out a base-rate increase for 1993.
 Price alone will not guarantee success, however. "We cannot lose sight of our commitment to customer service," Hecht said.
 He told shareowners that PP&L is now developing its Continuous Performance Improvement Process, which he described as "an ongoing search for better service at reasonable prices."
 The process involves empowering employees to make more decisions, implementing the creative ideas that employees generate, looking for better ways to do each job, creating new partnerships between management and labor and comparing PP&L to the best among other companies.
 Looking ahead, Hecht said he is optimistic: "Our hope for the future is based on the proven ability of PP&L people to welcome change, to learn new skills, to find better ways to provide excellent service."
 Following Hecht, Frank A. Long, the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, also expressed a bright view of the future.
 "Time and again, our people have proven their ability to meet the difficult challenges, to succeed for the customer and for the shareowner," he said.
 "We're confident our people will stand up to the challenges of the next century. Talented people, efficient power plants, a smooth- running delivery system, quality customer service -- those are the keys to our success."
 Long, who was promoted to his new job on Jan. 1, 1993, praised PP&L employees for the extended hours they worked and the dedication they displayed during three devastating storms last winter. Conditions were especially severe during "the blizzard of '93" in mid-March.
 "Despite the hardships, PP&L employees showed a high degree of dedication as they battled snow drifts and high winds to keep the homes of our customers warm," he said. "I am very proud of the work ethic -- the high commitment to customer service -- that our people demonstrated during what was perhaps our most destructive winter."
 Long also reviewed the performance of the company's power plants in 1992. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he pointed out, recognized PP&L's Susquehanna nuclear power plant for its high level of safety performance and for what the agency said was a "commitment to safety throughout the organization."
 The company's fossil fuel plants also continued to perform well in 1992, Long noted. Those plants were available to produce electricity about 85 percent of the time -- the highest availability factor since the company began keeping records.
 Following Long, Charles E. Russoli, PP&L's executive vice president and chief financial officer, reviewed the company's financial performance.
 Russoli said earnings per share of common stock were $2.04 for the 12 months ended March 31, 1993. Earnings for the same period the year before were $2.03 per share.
 Energy sales to customers in PP&L's service area increased 713 million kilowatt-hours, or 2.4 percent, over the previous 12-month period.
 Russoli said the company will continue its aggressive marketing and economic development programs to increase energy sales, and will continue to emphasize effective cost management. PP&L also will continue to take advantage of favorable financial conditions to refinance long- term debt and preferred and preference stocks.
 In April 1993, Russoli noted, PP&L increased its annual dividend by 5 cents a share, or 3.1 percent.
 "The board of directors recognizes the importance of compensating investors for the funds they provide," said Russoli. "We plan to continue our pattern of increasing the dividend annually. The amount of the increase will continue to be based on the company's financial performance."
 He also reported that the company's common stock increased in price by 3.6 percent during 1992, to $27-1/4 a share. In comparison, the Standard & Poor's Electric Utility Index declined 0.6 percent for the year.
 PP&L shareowners, voting 119 million of the more than 157 million eligible shares of stock, re-elected six members to the company's board of directors: Hecht; Long; William J. Flood, secretary-treasurer of Highway Equipment & Supply Co., Hazleton; the Rev. Daniel G. Gambet, president of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Center Valley; John T. Kauffman, former PP&L chairman and chief executive officer; and David L. Tressler, executive director of the Joseph M. McDade Center for Technology and Applied Research at the University of Scranton, and president, chief executive officer and a director of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.
 Shareowners also ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche as independent auditors for 1993.
 PP&L supplies electricity to a 10,000 square-mile area of 29 counties in Central Eastern Pennsylvania. Among the communities it serves are Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lancaster, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: James Marsh of Pennsylvania Power & Light, 215-774-5241/
 (PPL)


CO: Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:

CC -- PH041 -- 2237 04/28/93 16:13 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 28, 1993
Words:1191
Previous Article:JARDINE FLEMING CHINA REGION FUND RECEIVES NO-ACTION LETTER FROM SEC
Next Article:MORRISON KNUDSEN CHAIRMAN WILLIAM J. AGEE ENDORSES CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S SUPPORT OF HIGH-SPEED RAIL IN UNITED STATES
Topics:


Related Articles
PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT BOARD AUTHORIZES STOCK SPLIT
ELECTRIC UTILITY ANNUAL MEETING CONSIDERS RETAIL WHEELING, EMF
PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT CO. UNDERTAKING INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE, PLANS CHANGE TO CORPORATE STRUCTURE
PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT CO. SHAREOWNERS TO MEET
PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT CO., CUSTOMERS TO BENEFIT FROM NEW COMPETITION
PENNSYLVANIA POWER & LIGHT CO. SHAREOWNERS APPROVE HOLDING COMPANY STRUCTURE
PP&L RESOURCES HAS IMPROVED ITS POSITION OVER PAST YEAR, CHAIRMAN TELLS SHAREOWNERS
PP&L Resources Shareowners to Meet
PP&L Resources Well Prepared for New Marketplace
Company's Actions Amidst Severe Economic Pressures in 2008 Bode Well for the Future, PPL Chairman Tells Shareowners.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters