swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by milder weather.
The electricity and natural gas service provider Wednesday posted a loss of $1.1 million, or less than a penny a share, for the quarter, compared with a profit of $700,000, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. The Kansas City, Mo., company lost 5 cents a share from continuing operations in the latest quarter.
First-quarter revenue rose 22.1% to $431 million.
Sales from electric operations increased 21.2% to $169.5 million in the first quarter. Sales from natural gas operations increased 13.6% to $263 million in the full year, up from $231.5 million a year earlier. Merchant services reported a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $7.4 million in the first quarter compared with a loss of $7.3 million in the first quarter of 2005.
''Our employees continue to manage growth in our gas and electric businesses while also working hard to close the sale of the remaining three utility properties by the end of the third quarter,'' the company said. ''As the proceeds from the sales are received, our debt reduction efforts are ramping up, allowing us to create a solid growth platform to meet the energy needs of the communities we serve.''
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