Feb. 20--COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Rate increases and customer growth boosted SCANA Corp.'s earnings 12 percent in 2013, the Cayce-based energy giant reported Thursday.
The company earned $471 million last year, compared to $420 million in 2012. Basic earnings per share grew to $3.40, a 6.25 percent increase from $3.20 the previous year.
The company's largest subsidiary, S.C. Electric & Gas, boosted its rates by 2.87 percent last fall, raising the rate for residential customers by $4.17 to $142.28 per 1,000 kilowatt hours. The company has been raising its rates annually for several years to help pay for two new nuclear reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. The utility says raising rates now to pay for the $10 billion project will save ratepayers money.
"We are very pleased with our 2013 results," Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Addison said in a statement. "Economic conditions in our service territory continue to improve as evidenced by recent economic expansion and declining unemployment rates."
SCANA also announced Thursday that is had raised the quarterly cash dividend on the company's common stock to 52 1/2 cents per share from 50 3/4 cents per share, payable April 1.
"The positive results of 2013 and the confidence we have in the long-term strategy were key considerations" in raising the dividend, Addison said.
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