April 30--Florida Power & Light Co. and its parent company, NextEra Energy, on Wednesday reported improved financial results for the first quarter this year, thank in part to gains in Florida's economy.
FPL, the largest electric utility in the state, said profits hit $347 million, or 79 cents per share, up from $288 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenues rose 16 percent to $2.53 billion.
Profits were helped by an increase in Florida's population. FPL averaged about 87,000 more customer accounts in the quarter than a year earlier, its biggest rise in customer accounts since late 2007. The number of its inactive accounts dropped to its lowest level since April 2004, a statement said.
"FPL's customer metrics reflect a strengthening of Florida's economy and business climate," said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy in a news release.
"Over the long term, the company continues to expect that Florida will experience above-average economic growth, " said the statement from its Juno Beach headquarters.
Parent company NextEra Energy said profits from all its units reached $430 million, or 98 cents per share, up from $272 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenues rose 12 percent to $3.67 billion.
The company's NextEra Energy Resources unit, involved mainly in renewable energy projects, reported profits of $86 million, or 20 cents per share, reversing a loss of $40 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. Losses were linked to partly to charges on a solar energy project in Spain. Revenues for the quarter grew to $1.03 billion.
For the year, the parent company expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $5.05 to $5.45 this year and $5.50 to $6.00 next year.
NextEra Energy last year had revenues of $15.1 billion. It employed 13,900 employees in 26 states and Canada at the end of 2013. The majority of its staff are based in Florida.
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