Duke Energy has reported a 49% decline in profit for the third quarter 2009 due to the weak economy, which impacted electricity demand.

The company’s net income was $109m compared to $215m in the same period last year.

The company’s net income for the first nine months of 2009 was $729m, representing a 29% drop compared to $1.03bn for the corresponding period last year.

Duke’s US Franchised Electric and Gas (USFE&G) business unit posted an EBIT of $716m for Q3 2009, compared to $726m for Q3 2008.

The decline was attributed to unfavourable weather throughout the service territory, the company said.

The Commercial Power business unit posted an EBIT loss from continuing operations of $234m for Q3 2009 compared to a loss of $108m in Q3 2008.

Duke Energy International business unit registered an EBIT from continuing operations of $100m in Q3 2009, compared to $77m in Q3 2008.

Positive results were attributed to lower commodity costs in Peru and favourable hydrology in Central America, partly counterbalanced by unfavourable foreign currency exchange rates and lower commodity prices at National Methanol Company.