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Allete reports third-quarter results

The Minnesota Power parent company saw lower profits this year compared to last.

FILE: Minnesota Power and Allete building
The Minnesota Power and Allete building in downtown Duluth. Bob King / 2005 file / Duluth News Tribune

Allete reported a smaller profit in the third quarter of 2020 compared to last year.

The Duluth energy company posted a profit of $27.6 million or 53 cents per share, down from $40.7 million or 78 cents per share during the same period last year.

“Our consolidated financial results are as expected for the quarter,” Allete Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Adams said in a news release Thursday morning. “(Allete's) 2021 full year results are anticipated to be in the range of $3.00 to $3.30 per share, on a consolidated basis, transitioning to increased earnings in 2022 and beyond.”

The company's regulated businesses, which include Minnesota Power, Superior Water Light and Power and its investment in the American Transmission Co., saw a profit of $32.9 million in the third quarter compared to $42.4 million in the third quarter of last year. The company said its earnings were lower because of "increased operating and maintenance expense, higher property taxes and negative timing impacts related to the recording of income tax expense."

There were higher power sales to residential, commercial and municipal customers. Industrial customers saw higher margins but were partially pulled down by the idled paper mill in Duluth once owned by Verso.

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Minnesota Power this week asked regulators to approve a nearly 18% rate hike for its customers so it could expand investments in renewable energy production and transmission.

Allete Clean Energy, a developer of wind farms throughout the country, reported a loss of $800,000 during the quarter compared to a profit of $1.1 million last year. The company said the loss "reflects lower wind resources and availability."

Allete's BNI Energy, coal mine in North Dakota, and Allete Properties reported a loss of $4.5 million. They lost $2.8 million in the same quarter of last year.

"The increased net loss is primarily due to higher expenses," Allete said in the release.

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