American Electric Power reported a drop in profit and sales last year as it lost customers to competitors in Ohio and saw sluggish growth in power demand.
The Columbus-based utility posted a net income of $1.3 billion, down from $1.9 billion in 2011, and sales of $14.9 billion, down from $15.1 billion.
"In spite of considerable challenges in 2012, including extended regulatory uncertainty in Ohio, lagging demand growth and several unprecedented storms, we provided solid financial results for our shareholders and safely delivered reliable, affordable electricity for the benefit of our customers," said Nick Akins, president and CEO, in a statement.
As of December, 51 percent of AEP's Ohio customer base had switched to a competing supplier. The percentage is based on the volume of power, not customer counts. Sales decreased $170 million related to the switching in Ohio.
Weather was another key factor, following an unusually warm 2011, contributing to a $95 million drop in sales.
To make up for losses in other areas, the company reduced its operations and maintenance spending by $252 million, though some of this was offset by damage from storms.
The company said it expects to earn $3.05 to $3.25 per share in 2013, excluding one-time events. Earnings per share were $3.09 in 2012, excluding one-time events, and $2.60 if those events are included.
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