UPDATE 2-Southern Co Q2 profit beats expectations

miércoles 29 de julio de 2009 18:58 CEST

* Q2 shr $0.61 vs. estimate of $0.59

* Q2 revenue down about 8 pct * Industrial electricity sales down the most

* Industrial sales decline to continue as similar pace

* On track to achieve cost savings of $200-$300 mln for yr

(Adds CEO comments)

By Hezron Selvi BANGALORE, July 29 (Reuters) - Power company Southern Co (SO.N: Cotización) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings as lower operations and maintenance costs offset the fall in revenue resulting from lower electricity demand.

The economy continued to hurt earnings, with industrial electricity sales sustaining the greatest impact, dropping 17.6 percent in the quarter, the company said.

"When you look at what the major drivers are in the industrial sector, its primarily steel manufacturers and chemical manufacturers," Chief executive David Ratcliffe said over the phone.

Ratcliffe expects industrial segment sales decline for the rest of the year to be similar to the second quarter.   Continuación...