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NW Natural Reports Results For The Quarter & Nine Months Ended September 30, 2011

Year-to-date (nine-month) financial and operating highlights

The company’s utility operations contributed net income of $31.7 million ($1.19 per share), compared to $36.4 million ($1.37 per share), in the first nine months of 2010. The decrease is due primarily to the second quarter after-tax charge of $4.4 million or 17 cents in the quarter related to utility tax legislation. Gas storage contributed $3.2 million (12 cents per share), which compares to $6.4 million (24 cents per share) in the same period of last year. Other non-utility activities contributed a net loss of $0.2 million, compared to net income of $0.3 million last year.

Operating results

NW Natural’s total gas sales and transportation deliveries in the first nine months of 2011, excluding deliveries of gas stored for others, were 802 million therms, up 10 percent from 729 million therms in 2010. The increase in usage was mainly due to weather that was 14 percent colder than a year ago and 12 percent colder than average. Margin from utility operations in 2011 decreased 1 percent to $230.2 million, compared to $233.7 million in 2010, due primarily to the repeal of the tax legislation mentioned above, offset in part by colder weather than in 2010 and customer growth.

Volumes sold to residential and commercial customers in the first nine months of 2011 were 459 million therms, up 18 percent from 389 million therms in the first nine months of 2010 due mainly to colder weather. Utility margin from residential and commercial customers in the first nine months totaled $211 million, including weather normalization and decoupling adjustments, up 4 percent over margin in the first nine months of 2010 of $202.9 million. NW Natural’s weather and decoupling mechanisms adjusted margin up by $0.2 million in 2011, compared to a margin adjustment increase of $19.7 million in the nine months ended 2010.

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