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Allete reports solid second quarter earnings

ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE) today reported earnings of 57 cents per share for the second quarter of 2001, a 19 percent increase over a year ago. The stated increase excludes a gain of 44 cents per share from the sale of the company's investment in A...

ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE) today reported earnings of 57 cents per share for the second quarter of 2001, a 19 percent increase over a year ago. The stated increase excludes a gain of 44 cents per share from the sale of the company's investment in ACE Limited last year. Quarterly revenue was $443.0 million, compared to $327.0 million in 2000. This 35 percent increase reflects the success of ALLETE's growth initiatives. The second quarter results bring year-to-date earnings to $1.03 per share, 13 percent ahead of last year, excluding ACE. ALLETE remains on track to achieve its target of 12 percent annual earnings growth for 2001.
"Being a diversified company, we're not dependent on a single business to deliver value to our shareholders," said Ed Russell, ALLETE President and CEO. "Our strong second quarter is a clear example of this strategy at work, and we're delighted with the results."
Automotive Services net income climbed 37 percent for the quarter, 42 percent year-to-date, which is in line with expectations set for 2001. ADESA vehicle sales for the quarter rose 60 percent over a year ago, due primarily to the addition of 28 vehicle auctions. At Automotive Finance Corporation, the number of vehicles financed grew by 15 percent.
ALLETE's Investments portfolio recorded a 70 percent increase in net income, boosted by a $29 million real estate sale at Cape Coral, Florida, along with strong sales at other Florida locations. Year-to-date, Investments contributed $22.8 million, compared to $21.7 million, illustrating the strength of this segment.
Energy Services net income for the quarter was up modestly compared to last year, despite approximately $1.3 million in additional costs incurred by Minnesota Power caused by a severe April ice storm and wind damage. Even with these unexpected costs, year-to-date net income is up by 7 percent over last year.
Water Services net income declined slightly in the quarter, due in large part to a 9 percent decrease in water consumption primarily attributable to above-average rainfall in Florida. Customer growth, however, climbed a robust 7 percent compared to a year ago.
ALLETE is a multi-services company with corporate headquarters in Duluth.

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