Unitil earnings edge up slightly

Unitil Corp. showed a modest increase in net income for the third quarter that ended at the end of September.

—The company reported earnigns of $1.6 million, or an increase of $400,000 from the same time last year – but the Hampton-based public utility holding company reported a 35.5 percent increase in sales of natural gas compared to the same quarter in 2004 as well as an 8.7 percent hike in electric unit sales over the third quarter of 2004.

Company officials also said the summer’s relatively hot weather and the progress of the corporation’s unregulated energy-brokering services helped to achieve a total 56 percent revenue growth in the third quarter of 2005.

Earnings per common share were 28 cents for the third quarter of 2005, an increase of 6 cents per share, compared with earnings of 22 cents per share for the third quarter of 2004. The state Public Utilities Commission recently approved Unitil’s request to raise its rates as high as 60 percent for its 149 largest customers due to the skyrocketing energy costs.

The rates will go into effect Nov. 1, with an opportunity to request another rate hike in six months. – NHBR STAFF

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