AGL Resources Finishes Solid Year With Earnings Above Expectations

AGL Resources Inc. today reported fourth quarter earnings per share, excluding non-recurring items, of 27 cents, capping a year in which its annual operating earnings finished 36 percent over last year, exceeding analyst expectations for all four quarters. The company attributed the earnings performance to steadily decreasing operation and maintenance expenses and improved operations in its base utility business and strong sales productivity from its retail energy marketing venture.

For the quarter ending September 30, 2000, net income, excluding one-time items, nearly tripled over last year to $14.9 million compared with $4.8 million for the same period in 1999. The fourth quarter boost added to strong performance in the previous three quarters, leading to a twelve month total earnings, excluding one-time items, of $1.24 per share, an increase of 33 cents, or 36 percent, over the 91 cents per share from operations for fiscal year 1999.

"This fourth quarter gain is further evidence that we are squarely on track with transforming this business into a solid earnings performer,'

' said Paula Rosput, President and CEO. "The modernization of our utility operations has taken hold, improving customer service and offering our shareholders a reliable base for earnings growth."

Fourth quarter earnings came on revenues of $133 million, compared with $184 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Total annual revenues for fiscal year 2000 were $607 million, compared with $1 billion for fiscal year 1999, when the company was still directly involved in retail gas sales. This anticipated decrease in utility revenues is a result of the company's transition to a competitive natural gas market and does not affect earnings.

Reported net income for the year ending September 30, 2000, was $71 million, or $1.29 per share, which includes a one-time gain related to the sale of US Propane, a joint venture of AGL Resources, to Heritage Propane Partners, L.P. AGL Resources will have a continuing interest in Heritage Propane Partners, L.P. The gain was partly offset by non-recurring charges associated with a corporate reorganization and additional reserves recorded, resulting in a net increase in earnings of five cents per share. Net income for fiscal year 2000 was down slightly from $74 million the previous fiscal year, when the company recorded a one-time pre-tax gain of $36 million from the sale of its interest in the energy marketing partnership with Sonat.

The company's fourth quarter and year-long performance reflected significant improvements in both its base utility business and SouthStar, the retail gas marketing partnership that operates in Georgia as Georgia Natural Gas Services. The utility operation also achieved key productivity targets and implemented several modernization programs, including deployment of its automated dispatch system. Georgia Natural Gas reported dramatic reductions in its operating expenses and now boasts a 35% market share in Georgia.

"Our proven performance in our utility operations has set the stage for integration of our recent acquisition, Virginia Natural Gas," said Rosput. "We completed this acquisition two months ahead of schedule and prior to the start of the winter heating season. We now have added yet another growing market to our base, and it serves as a larger platform to deploy the many improvements we have achieved in our Georgia and Tennessee operations."

Conference Call

Interested investors are invited to listen to the company's fourth quarter earnings conference call broadcast live over the Internet. The broadcast will be on Wednesday, November 1, 2000, at 9:00 a.m. eastern time. The call, as well as supplemental financial statements, can be accessed at or Additionally, the conference call will be archived and available for replay at the web sites provided above until November 15, 2000.

AGL Resources Inc. is a regional energy holding company with gas distribution and energy marketing operations in the Southeast. The company is the second largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States and serves more than 1.8 million customers throughout Georgia, Chattanooga, Tennessee and southeastern Virginia. AGL Resources also is engaged through subsidiaries and partnerships in other energy-related businesses, including retail energy marketing, customer care services for energy marketers, and wholesale and retail propane sales.

The company's home page address on the Internet is

This press release contains forward-looking statements. AGL Resources wishes to caution readers that the assumptions which form the basis for the forward-looking statements include many factors that are beyond AGL Resources' ability to control or estimate precisely. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the following: changes in the price and demand for natural gas; the impact of changes in state and federal legislation and regulation on the company and the natural gas industry; the effects of competition, particularly in markets where prices and providers historically have been regulated; financial market conditions; and other risks described in our documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

                              September 30, 2000
                      In millions, except per share data

                                        3 Months Ended    12 Months Ended
                                          September 30,     September 30,
                                         2000     1999      2000     1999
  Operating Revenues                   $133.2   $184.0    $607.4 $1,068.6
   Cost of Sales                         15.0     64.6     111.9    544.7
  Operating Margin                      118.2    119.4     495.5    523.9
  Operating Expenses
   Operation and maintenance             62.9     71.9     247.8    266.1
   Depreciation                          20.9     19.0      83.2     78.8
   Taxes other than income                6.0      3.5      26.7     24.4
    Total operating expenses             89.8     94.4     357.7    369.3
  Operating Income                       28.4     25.0     137.8    154.6
   Other income (loss)                   (2.4)    (3.9)     15.1    (17.6)
   Gain on sale of joint
    venture interests                             35.6               35.6
   Gain on sale of propane assets        13.1               13.1
  Income before interest
   and income taxes                      39.1     56.7     166.0    172.6
    Interest expense
     and preferred divd.                 15.2     13.8      57.7     59.1
    Income taxes                          6.5     15.8      37.2     39.1

  Net Income -- Reported                $17.4    $27.1     $71.1    $74.4
  Net Income -- Core Operations         $14.9     $4.8     $68.6    $52.1

  Earnings Per Share -- Reported
    Basic                               $0.32    $0.48     $1.29    $1.30
    Diluted                             $0.32    $0.48     $1.29    $1.29

  Earnings Per Share -- Core Operations
    Basic                               $0.27    $0.09     $1.24    $0.91
    Diluted                             $0.27    $0.09     $1.24    $0.91

  Avg. Number of Shares Outstanding
    Basic                                54.1     57.0      55.2     57.4
    Diluted                              54.2     57.0      55.2     57.4

SOURCE: AGL Resources Inc.

Contact: investors, Melanie M. Platt, Vice President Investor Relations,
404-584-3420, or Joe Heffron, Manager, Investor Relations, or
404-584-3427, or media, Nick Gold, Manager, Media Relations,
404-584-3457, or 1-800-291-9649, all of AGL Resources, Inc.