Southern Company second quarter earnings per share jump 16 percent

ATLANTA – Southern Company reported record second quarter profits because of increased contribution from its Southeast utilities and its Asian business units, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Dahlberg announced today.

Southern Company reported earnings of $342 million, or 52 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2000, compared with $314 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same period last year – a 16 percent increase in earnings per share. Revenues for second quarter 2000 were $3.2 billion, compared with $2.8 billion in 1999’s second quarter.

“We continue to meet our financial targets and are on track to meet our goals for the year,” Dahlberg said.

Southern Company’s five integrated utilities in the Southeast reported $282 million in second quarter 2000 net income, compared with $264 million for the same period last year. Higher energy demand, an increased customer base and a growing wholesale energy supply business in the Southeast contributed to the increase. Southern Energy Inc., the subsidiary that includes Southern Company’s international operations and its competitive U.S. energy supply business outside the Southeast, reported $93 million in second quarter 2000 earnings, compared with $77 million for the same period last year.

Southern Company’s year-to-date earnings for the period ending June 30, 2000, were $587 million, or 90 cents a share, compared with $538 million, or 77 cents per share, for the same period last year. Net income for the 12 months ending June 30, 2000, was $1.3 billion, or $2.00 per share, compared with $1.0 billion, or $1.44 per share, for the 12 months ending June 30, 1999.

Reviewing operations, Dahlberg said electricity use by retail customers in Southern Company’s traditional service area in the southeastern United States increased 5.5 percent to 71.6 billion kilowatt-hours for the first six months of 2000. In-home electricity needs were up 6.6 percent to 20.8 billion kilowatt-hours. Electricity consumption by commercial customers – offices, stores and other non-manufacturing firms – rose 7.2 percent to 21.9 billion kilowatt-hours. Industrial energy use increased 3.5 percent to 28.4 billion kilowatt-hours.

Total sales of electricity to Southern Company’s customers in the Southeast, including sales to other utilities, increased 7.5 percent to 83.3 billion kilowatt-hours for the first six months of 2000.

Click to hear recorded remarks on second quarter performance, later this morning. In conjunction with this earnings announcement, you can also view a package of detailed financial information on second quarter performance.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company that operates more than 48,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity worldwide. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s largest independent power producers. Southern Company subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, Savannah Electric and Southern Energy, Inc.

Southern Company has operations in 13 countries on five continents and has a growing presence in North America outside the Southeast. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, risk management and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.

NOTE: This news release includes forward-looking statements in addition to historical information. We caution that there are various important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance, therefore, that the indicated results will be realized. These factors include those discussed in our filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q, from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.