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NW Natural Reports Strong Results For The Quarter & Six Months Ended June 30, 2010

Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE:NWN), reported net income for the second quarter of 2010 of $6.9 million, compared to net income of $3.1 million in the same quarter of 2009. Earnings per share were 26 cents in the quarter, compared to 12 cents per share in the second quarter of 2009.

For the first six months of 2010, net income was $50.5 million, or $1.90 per share, compared to $1.90 per share on net income of $50.4 million in the first six months of 2009.

“Our second quarter results were strong, primarily due to weather that was 49 percent colder than last year and lower expenses,” said Gregg Kantor, NW Natural’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am pleased with our performance in the core utility and our ability to remain nimble as we pursue our non-utility projects.”

SECOND QUARTER FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS

Net income and earnings per share

Consolidated results of operations produced net income of $6.9 million, or 26 cents per share, compared to $3.1 million, or 12 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2009. Results from utility operations are typically low during the second quarter due to reduced use of natural gas in spring and early summer months. In this year’s quarter, however, temperatures were well below normal late in the quarter.

The company’s utility operations earned net income of $4.6 million (17 cents per share), compared to net income of $0.4 million (2 cents per share) in 2009. Gas storage also contributed net income of $2.1 million (8 cents per share), compared to $2.7 million (10 cents per share) last year. Other non-utility activities added $0.1 million (1 cent per share), compared to a small loss in 2009.

Customer growth

NW Natural’s customer growth for the trailing 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, was 1.0 percent, with the company serving more than 669,000 customers. This compared to an annual customer growth rate of 0.7 percent at March 31, 2010, and 0.8 percent at June 30, 2009.

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