US-based energy firm Southern Company has reported a year-on-year increase of more than 30% in its first-quarter earnings.
In the first three months of this year, the company posted earnings of $1.14bn, or $1.07 to a share. This figure was $868m, or $0.82 to a share, in the first quarter of last year.
During the quarter, Southern Company earned $1.04bn, or $0.98 cents to a share, excluding certain items. This was $825m, or $0.78 to a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
The company attributed the increase to customer growth, higher residential sales and colder weather.
Operating revenues were $5.9bn, an increase from the $5bn posted in the first quarter of last year.
Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Thomas Fanning said: “We experienced a strong start to the year. The economies in our service territories are starting to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Customer demand is improving faster than we anticipated. Programmes we implemented to keep customers connected during the pandemic, including alternative payment arrangements, have helped those in need of assistance as we have continued to reliably provide for their energy needs.”
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Southern Company operates as a gas and electric utility holding company, serving around nine million customers through its subsidiaries.
The company offers clean energy through electric operating companies in three states, and through natural gas distribution companies in four states.
Last month, its subsidiary Southern Power acquired a 300MW wind farm from power generation company Invenergy.