Avista Corp. 2013 earnings see growth

Avista Corp. reported 2013 earnings grew 42 percent year-over-year to $111.1 million from $78.2 million in 2012.

The Spokane-based utility, which provides natural gas for Southern Oregon customers, had per-share earnings of $1.85 in 2013, up from $1.32 in 2012.

Avista said netted $31.7 million, or 53 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $15.9 million, or 26 cents per share a year earlier.

"Utility earnings benefited from colder than normal weather during the fourth quarter, which increased both electric and natural gas retail heating loads, and lower than expected operating costs," President and CEO Scott Morris said in a statement. "Annual results were positively impacted by warmer than normal summer weather and the resulting increase in electric cooling loads."

The company said increased power supply costs, mainly from the outage at the Colstrip generating facility in Billings, Mont., along with higher natural gas fuel prices, reined in earnings. Colstrip returned to full service in late January 2014. Morris said the company is moving toward completion of its purchase of Alaska Energy and Resources Company with the deal expected to close by July 1.

— Greg Stiles

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