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Progress Energy is managing the complex realities of the business while creating a strong future for its customers and shareholders, chairman, president and CEO Bill Johnson said May 12 at the company's annual meeting of shareholders in Raleigh, N.C.
Also today, the company's board of directors declared a dividend on the company's common stock. The quarterly dividend of 62 cents per share is payable August 2, 2010, to shareholders of record as of July 12, 2010. This represents a total annual dividend of $2.48 per share.
Johnson updated shareholders on the company's strategy for navigating economic and regulatory challenges while laying the groundwork for continued long-term success.
"We're focused on excelling in operating our system and serving customers," Johnson said. "We are living within our means and engaging employees in making sustainable efficiency improvements. We're also preparing for the future with the right balance of smart investments, and fostering a constructive regulatory and public policy climate."
Despite a challenging economy in 2009, the company delivered on its financial commitments. For the fourth year in a row, Progress Energy met its annual target for ongoing earnings per share.
"We know that this performance consistency builds investor confidence," Johnson said. "It helps us attract the large amounts of capital required to meet our customers' future needs and comply with new regulations."
The company's two utilities – Progress Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida – provide retail electric service to 3.1 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Johnson emphasized that the company is pursuing strategic initiatives on three fronts: aggressive energy-efficiency programs, innovative alternative- and renewable-energy projects, and a state-of-the art power system. Investments include smart grid infrastructure, advanced power plant emission controls, plug-in hybrid vehicle technology, and natural gas generation in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has also launched more than a dozen new energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs, giving customers greater control over their energy use and their bill.
"We are involved in the full spectrum of activities from generating the power to delivering it to our customers – as well as providing solutions to help customers manage their energy use wisely," Johnson said.
Even with many changes occurring in the energy industry, Johnson noted that Progress Energy's strategy is clear.
"Our focus remains on the regulated electric utility business and our two utilities serving the Carolinas and Florida," said Johnson. "The economic recovery is slow, as you know, but there are encouraging signs of improvement. We remain optimistic about the future growth potential of the areas we serve."