Unitil shrinks its 2Q loss

Unitil Corp., the Hampton-based utility, lost $800,000 in the second quarter of the year, a better showing compared to last year, when it lost $2.1 million in the second quarter.Because of the seasonal nature of natural gas consumption, Unitil said its results tend to be higher in the first and fourth quarters than in the second and third.Robert G. Schoenberger, Unitil’s chairman and CEO, noted an increase in demand from customers who are switching to natural gas service, prompting a greater investment in its gas system.The company’s net income for the first half of the year was $7.9 million, up from $4.4 million in the same period in 2010.The total amount of gas sold rose 18.8 percent year-over-year for the quarter, a change the company attributed to increased usage by commercial and industrial customers, the addition of new customers and colder temperatures.The volume of electricity sold remained steady, but the company’s sales margin on electricity grew $2.7 million in the quarter, thanks to higher rates implemented in July 2010.Usource, the company’s non-regulated energy brokering business, recorded revenues of $1.4 million in the quarter, an increase of $300,000 from a year ago. — JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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