Dover-based Chesapeake Utilities Corporation reported higher net income in the first quarter.
The company’s net income for the quarter ended March31, 2019 was $28.7 million, compared to $26.9 million for the same quarter of 2018.
The higher earnings reflected the positive impact of recently completed and ongoing pipeline expansion projects, contributions from the Marlin Gas Transport, Inc. and R. F. Ohl Fuel Oil, Inc. propane acquisitions, organic growth in the natural gas distribution operations and higher propane retail margins per gallon.
Earnings also increased as a result of an order from the Florida Public Service Commission authorizing the company to retain a portion of the tax savings associated with lower federal tax rates resulting from the United States Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for some of the company’s natural gas distribution operations.
These increases were partially offset by a $2.5 million margin decrease associated with lower energy consumption due to warmer weather in Florida and the absence of the “Bomb Cyclone” weather impact that sharply increased first quarter 2018 consumption within the Delmarva propane and natural gas distribution operations.
“2019 is off to a great start, as demonstrated by our strong financial results and continued growth across our business segments. In particular, our performance reflects increased contributions from natural gas service expansions, the Marlin Gas Transport and Ohl acquisitions, higher retail propane margins and the favorable outcomes of several regulatory initiatives. Our employees’ ingenuity, dedication, and commitment to our growth strategy propelled our success during the quarter,” stated Jeff Householder, CEO of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “We are excited about the future growth potential from these recent acquisitions and expansions. We also continue to evaluate additional attractive growth opportunities, with the goal of transforming such opportunities into new investments that generate increased earnings growth and value for our shareholders.”
Chesapeake provides natural gas service in southern New Castle County and the Delmarva Peninsula as well as a portion of Florida. The company also has pipeline operations, a natural gas collection operation in Ohio, and propane distribution in Florida, Pennsylvania and Delmarva.
Marlin provides natural gas services including tanker shipments.