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Duke Energy 2Q profits drop

http://66.225.205.104/SO20090804a.mp3

Duke Energy says second quarter profits dropped 21 percent from the same period last year because of the recession. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: Duke Energy posted earnings of 26 cents a share. In the second quarter the year before, the Charlotte-based utility had earnings of 27 cents a share. Profits fell to $276 million in the second quarter from $351 million in the same quarter last year. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers told investors on a conference call that the results were better than Wall Street analysts had expected. "I am pleased with our results through the first half of '09, especially in these very challenging times. Our operational performance and cost management efforts largely offset the impact of lower industrial sales volumes," said Rogers. The company says the recession has led to lower electricity sales this year. In the Carolinas, sales to industrial customers in the second quarter were down 18.5 percent from the year before. For the same period, they were lower by nearly 21 percent in the Midwest. Duke Energy officials say industrial customers told the company over the next six months they don't expect to use as much power as last year. Duke Energy says it will reduce operating costs by $150 million to make up for this. Rogers has said the company is trying to avoid layoffs.