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Avista reports 14 percent earnings increase

Wed., May 7, 2014, 10:47 a.m.

Avista Corp. reported a 14 percent increase in earnings during the first quarter, citing higher energy sales from a colder than normal winter.

Residential electric use increased 4 percent per customer and residential natural gas use increased 1 percent.

The Spokane-based utility reported a net income of $48.5 million, or 81 cents per share, for the quarter, compared to $42.3 million, or 71 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2013. Company revenues were $490.9 million during the quarter.

Avista’s earnings also benefited from rate increases approved by regulators across its service territory in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, said Chairman and CEO Scott Morris in a press release.

In other news, Avista is considering a sale of its energy management subsidiary Ecova, which performs services for more than 700 clients representing 720,000 sites in North America.

Morris said that Avista is evaluating offers for Ecova, but hasn’t made a decision. If a sale doesn’t go through, the company will continue to support Ecova’s growth initiatives, he said.

Ecova’s revenues totaled $44.4 million during the first quarter.

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