Now, on slide four, I would like to review results for our principal lines of business. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's 2012 first quarter earnings per share denoted in blue were flat compared to the first quarter of 2011. Electric margin was $0.07 higher due to increases under the Base Load Review Act, net of the $0.01 weather decline. This increase in margin was offset by higher operating and maintenance expenses, interest expense and depreciation, as well as share dilution. Total weather-normalized electric sales to residential and commercial customers were relatively flat over the first quarter.
Industrial sales were down approximately 2% due to reduced production at one of our largest customers as a result of a fire. We understand this customer's production will likely be limited for the majority of the year. PSNC Energy's earnings for the first quarter of 2012 shown in red were $0.24 per share compared to $0.25 per share in 2011. Increases in customer growth were slightly more than offset by higher operating and maintenance expenses and share dilution.
SCANA Energy in green reported lower earnings for the first quarter of 2012 due to the aforementioned milder weather. In the first quarter of 2011, weather increased SCANA Energy's margins by $0.02. However, the extremely mild weather in the first quarter of 2012 resulted in an $0.08 swing in margins.
Next, I would like to touch on economic trends in our service area as shown on slide five. We continue to see business growth and expansion. In the first quarter, companies announced plans to invest $124 million with expectations of creating over 200 jobs in our South Carolina territory. Our gas businesses in North Carolina also saw a promising quarter of economic announcements with companies projecting investment of $194 million and over 2,900 jobs. These announcements covered a variety of industries such as plastics, metals, and food and beverage. As I have mentioned previously, 2011 was an excellent year in terms of economic announcements and we are pleased that this trend appears to be continuing. Another measure – container volume at the Port of Charleston also continues to improve.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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