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    Chesapeake Utilities reports higher earnings

    August 8, 2022 - Delaware Business Now


      Dover-based Chesapeake Utilities Corp. reported higher earnings for the three and six months ended June 30

      .For the first half of 2022, net income was $54 million compared to $48.3 million for the same period in 2021. Included in these results, was a one-time gain of $1.9 million associated with a property sale.

      The company's net income for the quarter ended June 30 was $17.1 million, compared to $13.8 million reported in the same quarter of 2022. Included in the results, was the one-time gain of $1.9 million noted above.

      Higher second-quarter earnings were driven by results from natural gas transmission pipeline expansions, improved profitability in the Company's propane distribution business, regulated infrastructure programs, organic growth in the natural gas distribution businesses, increased customer consumption, and increased performance in the company's other unregulated businesses. These increases were partially offset by higher interest expenses resulting from interest rate increases impacting short-term borrowings.

      On a year-to-date basis, earnings included acquisitions of Diversified Energy Company and the natural gas metering station located in Escambia County, FL. Diversified is a propane supplier in North and South Carolina.

      "Chesapeake Utilities delivered strong financial results during the second quarter and through the first half of the year," stated Jeff Householder, CEO. "Our businesses continue to organically add new natural gas customers across our service territories at levels well above the national average. Annual residential customer growth for the second quarter was 5.7% and 4.1% in Delmarva and Florida, respectively. While the housing and lending markets have shifted as of late, our home-building partners see continued demand in the communities we serve.

      "Additionally, our teams have done an outstanding job given the inflationary environment and supply chain constraints that have delayed certain projects. Through planning, certain discretionary expense mitigation efforts and continued real estate rationalization, our teams drove earnings growth in the quarter that served to offset inflationary pressure in the quarter. Looking forward, we'll continue with these efforts to minimize the cost impact, recognizing there will be significant challenges ahead, especially in the short term. Despite these headwinds, we remain committed to growing our stable utility operations and investing in complementary businesses, including renewable natural gas and other energy delivery solutions that position the Company for long-term sustainable success."

      During the first half of 2022, the Company experienced a reduced level of new capital investments due to regulatory delays and supply chain disruptions. The Company expects these delays in timing to be temporary and reiterates its long-term capital expenditures in the range of $750 million to $1 billion from 2021 through 2025.

      Chesapeake distributes propane in an area extending from northern Delaware and Cecil County, MD into Delmarva and the Carolinas. It operates a small electric utility in northern Florida and natural gas utilities in Delmarva and in Florida. Other holdings include a natural gas trucker and an Ohio operation that gathers and distributes natural gas from wells.


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