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Duluth-based Allete reports increase in second-quarter operating revenue

Allete is reporting a productive second quarter with operating revenue up nearly 11 percent over the same period last year.

Revenue reaching nearly $261 million for the three months ending June 30 surpassed last year’s $236 million for the Duluth-based energy company,

according to its unaudited quarterly report released Friday.

Net income also was up in the quarter ending June 30, despite a one-time, after-tax $2.5 million — or 6 cents per share — settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, the company said.

That settlement, filed last month in federal court, resolved long-standing claims that Minnesota Power, one of Allete’s utility companies, violated the federal Clean Air Act by unlawfully making major modifications at several of its coal-fired power plants.

Company-wide, net earnings were 40 cents per share on net income of $16.8 million, up from last year’s 35 cents per share on net income of $14 million, the numbers show.

Projections for continued earnings this year are on track with taconite customers expected to continue to operate at full demand levels, Al Hodnik, Allete’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Allete’s electric utilities — Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light & Power — and its investment in the American Transmission Co. also showed net income growth, rising to $17.5 million in the second quarter, compared to $16.3 million in 2013.

That boost largely was due to a higher cost recovery from ongoing work on the Boswell 4 environment retrofit and Bison 4 wind energy projects, according to Allete.

Among Allete’s other investments, Allete Clean Energy posted profits from its newly acquired energy facilities in Minnesota, Iowa and Oregon.

Also last week, Allete’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 49 cents per share on the company’s stock. That’s the same as two other dividends paid to stockholders this year. On an annual basis, it’s equivalent to $1.96 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 1 to common stockholders of record at the close of the business on Aug. 15.