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Aquila reports quarterly profit

May 7, 2008

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Aquila Inc. on Tuesday said a colder winter and lower costs from the proposed sale of its remaining assets helped it swing to a first-quarter profit.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company, which sells electric and natural gas services in five Midwestern states, reported earning $8.5 million, or 2 cents per share, during the three-month period ending March 31. By comparison, the company said it lost $24.3 million, or 6 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

The quarter a year ago included $8.5 million in costs associated with the proposed sale of its Missouri electric utilities to Great Plains Energy Inc. and its remaining electric and natural gas utilities - including its natural gas service in Kansas, based in Lawrence - to Black Hills Corp.

Those transactions, originally expected to be completed earlier this year, have become delayed as Missouri regulators have raised concerns with the sale. The Missouri Public Service Commission is reviewing the application and the parties have set a new deadline of Aug. 6 to close the deal.

Aquila shares, which closed trading Tuesday before the company released its earnings, gained 4 cents to $3.73.

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