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ALLETE Reports 2012 Earnings Of $2.58 Per Share

ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE) today reported 2012 earnings of $2.58 per share compared with $2.65 per share in 2011. Excluding two non-recurring items, ALLETE's pro-forma earnings in 2011 were $2.39 per share.

The company recorded net income of $97.1 million in 2012 compared with $93.8 million a year ago, an increase of 3.5 percent. Operating revenue was $961.2 million this year versus $928.2 million in 2011.

Income from ALLETE's Regulated Operations segment decreased by $4.3 million in 2012 compared to 2011, however, last year's results included the benefit of two non-recurring items: the reversal of a $6.2 million, or 18 cents per share, deferred tax liability and a $2.9 million, or 8 cents per share, income tax benefit. Excluding these items, Regulated Operations increased by $4.8 million.

Continued strong retail and municipal sales, higher cost recovery revenue and renewable energy tax credits all contributed to the year-over-year increase. Minnesota Power electric sales to industrial customers increased by nearly two percent over 2011 to more than 7.5 million kilowatt-hours. These increases were partially offset by increased operating and maintenance, depreciation and interest expenses, as well as higher costs under the Square Butte power purchase agreement.

The Investments and Other segment recorded net income of $1 million in 2012 compared to a net loss of $6.6 million in 2011, due primarily to lower state income tax and interest expense.

Earnings for 2012 were diluted by 16 cents per share due to issuances of common shares needed to fund major capital investments.

“I'm pleased with our 2012 financial and operational performance as we executed our multi-faceted growth strategies,” said ALLETE President, Chairman and CEO Al Hodnik. “Our year-end results were in the upper end of our $2.50 to $2.60 guidance range.”

Hodnik said he was confident in ALLETE's ability to deliver continued earnings growth in 2013. “We expect another strong year of energy sales as our regional economy grows and we will continue to make needed capital investments to ensure reliability and meet state renewable and environmental mandates.”

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