Key drivers influencing the segment results included the following:

  • A $7.2 million decrease in pre-tax gross margin. The decrease in gross margin is mainly due to higher fuel and purchased power expense at KCP&L’s Missouri jurisdiction where the company does not have a fuel recovery mechanism;
  • A $5.8 million decrease in pre-tax other operating expenses primarily from lower plant operating and maintenance expenses due to planned plant outages in 2011 with longer durations than in 2012;
  • A $4.3 million pre-tax impact from the 2011 organizational realignment and voluntary separation program that was deferred to a regulatory asset in 2012 for recovery in rates beginning January 1, 2013, as a result of the rate case order issued in December 2012 by the KCC;
  • An $8 million increase in pre-tax non-operating expenses driven by the impact of accounting effects from GMO’s January 2013 rate case order and from non-regulated activities;
  • A $4.3 million decrease in pre-tax interest expense driven by the maturity of $500 million of 11.875 percent senior notes in early July 2012; and
  • A $1.9 million increase in income tax expense.

Overall retail MWh sales were down approximately 1 percent in the quarter compared to the fourth quarter 2011 with the decrease primarily driven by lower weather-normalized demand. On a weather-normalized basis, retail MWh sales decreased an estimated 0.9 percent due to decreases in the residential and industrial sectors partially offset by a modest increase in the commercial sector.

Compared to normal levels the negative pre-tax gross margin effect from weather in the 2012 quarter was approximately $5 million or about $0.02 per share.

Coal fleet and nuclear availability in the quarter were generally in-line with the same period in 2011.
             
Three Months Ended December 31     2012     2011
Equivalent Availability - Coal Plants     82%     84%
Capacity Factor - Coal Plants 63% 63%
 
Equivalent Availability - Nuclear 100% 100%
Capacity Factor - Nuclear 100% 100%
 
Equivalent Availability - Coal and Nuclear 85% 86%
Capacity Factor - Coal and Nuclear     68%     69%
 

Other Category Full-Year and Fourth Quarter:

Results for the Other category primarily include unallocated corporate charges, GMO non-regulated operations, noncontrolling interest and preferred dividends. For the full-year 2012, the Other category recorded a loss of $18.3 million or $0.12 per share compared to a loss of $27.1 million or $0.19 per share in 2011.

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