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SOUTHERN COMPANY ANNOUNCES EARNINGS

 SOUTHERN COMPANY ANNOUNCES EARNINGS
 ATLANTA, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- "Our earnings for the first


quarter of 1992 are higher than our results for the same period a year ago, as we continue to see greater use of electricity across the Southeast," Southern Company President Edward L. Addison said today.
 The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. The Southern Company's common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.
 Addison announced that earnings for the first three months of 1992 were $185 million or 59 cents a share -- up $48 million or 16 cents a share from the first three months of 1991.
 For the 12 months ending March 31, net income totaled $924 million or $2.93 a share -- an increase of $296 million or 94 cents a share from the corresponding period a year earlier. Earnings for the 12 months ending Feb. 29, were $2.91 a share.
 Results for the most recent 12-month periods were bolstered by a gain of $114 million or 36 cents a share from the first installment in the settlement of a contract dispute with Gulf States Utilties. Southern Company subsidiaries finalized the settlement with Gulf States in November 1991, ending a five-year disagreement over major power sales contracts.
 Addison also pointed out that net income for the 12-month period ending March 31, 1991, was reduced by an after-tax charge of $218 million -- or 69 cents a share -- taken after the Georgia Supreme Court refused to review a decision by the state public service commission disallowing a portion of the company's investment in Plant Vogtle.
 Reviewing operations, Addison said electricity use by retail customers in The Southern Company's service area gained 5.4 percent during the first three months of 1992. In-home electricity needs were up 4.8 percent to 7.7 billion kilowatthours. Electricity consumption by commercial customers -- offices, stores and other non-manufacturing firms -- gained 4.9 percent to 7.0 billion kilowatthours. Industrial energy use increased 6.2 percent to 11.3 billion kilowatthours.
 For the first three months of 1992, total sales of electricity to customers of The Southern Company -- including sales to other utilities -- were down 1 percent as compared with the same period a year ago.
 THE SOUTHERN COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED
 Condensed Income Data
 (Amounts in millions)
 3 mos. ended March 1992 1991 (b) Pct. chg.
 Kilowatthour sales:
 Retail sales (in kilowatthours) 26,177 24,847 5.4
 Total sales (in kilowatthours) 31,447 31,765 (1.0)
 Operating revenues $ 1,808 $ 1,787 1.2
 Income before interest charges 399 365 9.5
 Consolidated net income 185 137 34.7
 Average number of shares of common
 stock outstanding 316 316 ---
 Earnings per share of common
 stock $0.59 $0.43 37.2
 12 mos. ended March 1992 (a) 1991 (b,c)Pct. chg.
 Kilowatthour sales:
 Retail sales 112,198 110,092 1.9
 Total sales 142,709 145,460 (1.9)
 Operating revenues $ 8,071 $ 8,158 (1.1)
 Income before interest charges 1,815 1,551 17.0
 Consolidated net income 924 628 47.1
 Average number of shares of common
 stock outstanding 316 316 ---
 Earnings per share of common
 stock $2.93 $1.99 47.2
 (a) Income before interest charges, consolidated net income and earnings per share reflect an after-tax increase of $114 million (36 cents per share) to recognize a settlement from Gulf States Utilities Company, and reflect a $33 million (10 cents per share) after-tax write-off for Georgia Power's separation benefits program.
 (b) Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current year presentation.
 (c) Twelve months ended March 1991 income before interest charges, consolidated net income and earnings per share reflect a $218 million after-tax (69 cents per share) write-off by Georgia Power.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: David Mould or Jennie Yates of The Southern Company, 404-455-1077/
 (SO) CO: The Southern Company ST: Georgia IN: UTI SU: ERN


EA-BN -- AT016 -- 1942 04/23/92 13:30 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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