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SCANA reports 2016 earnings total $595M

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Cayce-based SCANA Corp. reported today earnings for 2016 totaled $595 million compared with $746 million for 2015. The company added that 2015’s earnings included $201 million from the sale of two subsidiaries, Carolina Gas Transmission and SCANA Communications.

Meanwhile, the company’s fourth quarter earnings for 2016 totaled $124 million, up 26.5% over $98 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.

"We are pleased with our annual results and the continued growth in our electric and gas companies," Jimmy Addison, executive vice president and CFO, said in a statement. "Our earnings outlook continues to support our long-term growth expectations, based upon expected customer growth and investment in our electric and gas infrastructure driven by the economies of the Carolinas."

Earnings for the company’s principal subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, rose about 9.6% to $526 million for 2016 compared with $480 million for 2015. A Base Load Review Act rate increase, customer growth, and favorable weather compared with the prior year, as well as higher gas margins, contributed to higher electric margins, the company said in a press release.

For the fourth quarter of 2016, SCE&G earnings climbed 24% to $93 million compared with $75 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. 

At the end of 2016, SCE&G was serving approximately 709,000 electric customers and 358,000 natural gas customers in South Carolina, up 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively, over 2015.

The company did not comment in the press release on how Toshiba Corp.’s financial woes, resulting from losses suffered by its Westinghouse Electric subsidiary, would impact SCE&G’s new nuclear construction project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. Westinghouse is the designer and contractor of the Summer project.

Toshiba announced Tuesday it plans to write off $6.3 billion in business because of massive losses related to its nuclear business, primarily the construction of new plants in China and the United States.

On Tuesday, SCE&G announced that Toshiba and Westinghouse indicated they’re committed to completing two reactor units under construction at the Summer plant. State-operated Santee Cooper is SCE&G’s partner in the project.

SCANA also reported that PSNC Energy, the company's North Carolina-based retail natural gas distribution subsidiary, recorded 2016 earnings of $57 million compared with $54 million in 2015.  For the fourth quarter of 2016, earnings $27 million compared with $24 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.

SCANA Energy Marketing, which markets natural gas in deregulated energy markets, including Georgia where the company does business as SCANA Energy, reported 2016 earnings of $30 million compared with $28 million in 2015. Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $7 million compared with $2 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.

The SCANA board today raised the quarterly cash dividend on the company's common stock to 61¼ cents per share from 57½ cents per share, an increase of 6.5%. The new dividend is payable April 1, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 10. Additionally, the board approved an increase to the upper band of SCANA's dividend payout policy to 65% from 60%, for a new payout policy of 55% to 65%.     

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