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VIRGINIA ELECTRIC $200 MILLION SENIOR DEBT RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia Electric and Power Co.'s (VPC) $200 million new issue of 6.625 percent first and refunding mortgage bonds, due April 1, 2003, is rated `A+' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. This is a takedown from a 1990 shelf registration.
 While VPC's balance sheet improved with common equity increasing to 44 percent of total capitalization, milder than normal weather throughout 1992 impacted operating income and interest coverage. Operating income in 1992 was $761.6 million versus the prior year's $816.8 million and September 1992 pretax interest coverage of 2.83 times (x) was below 2.98x achieved in 1991. VPC has aggressively refunded debt to capture current interest savings and lowered embedded cost of long term debt from 8.43 percent as of December 1991 to 7.86 percent in 1992.
 Recently granted rate increases and a pending rate decision should enhance earnings protection measures. In December, the Virginia State Corporate Commission permitted a $45.2 million rate increase and currently the VSCC staff is recommending another 8.6 percent, or $260 million, increase. VPC expects to receive the rate order late this year. Additionally, in March, VPC's base rates for North Carolina customers were increased by $12.4 million.
 VPC recently lowered its expected 20-year annual growth rate to 2.2 percent from 2.5 percent. Consequently, VPC has deferred addition of base load plant to year 2002, except for the 782 megawatt Clover coal fired plant now under co-development with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. More moderate growth will reduce cash requirements in VPC's distribution segment and improve internal generation of cash, now at 68.5 percent of capital expenditures. Also, VPC continues with above industry performance at its four nuclear units with competitive electricity production cost at 2.8 cents/kwh.
 VPC, headquartered in Richmond, is the principal subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc. VPC provides electric service to 80 percent of the residents of Virginia and to portions of North Carolina.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: John Watt of Fitch, 212-908-0523/
 (D)


CO: Virginia Electric and Power Co. ST: Virginia IN: UTI SU: RTG

SM -- NY076 -- 4914 04/12/93 16:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 12, 1993
Words:364
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