By Charlotte Business Journal

Gross profits for the Shaw Power Groupâ¿¿s fiscal third quarter increased more than 38 percent from a year ago to $55.4 million, even though the divisionâ¿¿s revenue dropped 5.7 percent.

The group is based in Charlotte. It is a subsidiary of The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) of Baton Rouge, La., which reported its quarterly earnings Monday morning.

The parent companyâ¿¿s net income for the quarter ending May 31 totaled $68.4 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, on revenue totaling $1.79 billion. That was up from net income of $7.9 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, on $1.85 billion in revenue in the third quarter of fiscal 2009. The companyâ¿¿s year-ago income was adversely affected by a large accounting loss based on foreign exchange rates related to its investment in the Westinghouse Group.

Shaw Chief Executive Jim Bernhard Jr. says his company is beginning to get a lift from construction of nuclear plants.

⿿We continue to make progress on our nuclear projects, with four units simultaneously under construction in China and additional AP1000 units planned for the future,⿝ he says in a prepared statement. ⿿Our quarterly earnings also have begun to show an impact from the four nuclear units we currently are building in the United States.⿝

Those include two nuclear reactors under construction in South Carolina. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) intends to use the AP1000 for its proposed Lee Nuclear Station near Gaffney, S.C.

Nuclear construction comes under Shaw Power Group, which comprises the corporationâ¿¿s Fossil Renewables & Nuclear Division and its maintenance operations.

The group earned its $55.4 million in gross profit in the latest quarter on $827 million in revenue. A year ago, it reported gross profit of $40 million on $877 million in revenue.

For the first nine months of this fiscal year, Shaw Power Group reports gross profits of $135.7 million on more than $2.4 billion in revenue. Thatâ¿¿s up from a gross profit of $70.8 million on $1.87 billion in revenue a year earlier.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010