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PPL Corporation Reports 2020 Earnings
Kentucky Ag Connection - 02/23/2021

PPL Corporation, Allentown, Pa., announced 2020 reported earnings (GAAP) of $1.47 billion, or $1.91 per share, compared with $1.75 billion, or $2.37 per share, in 2019.

Adjusting for special items, 2020 earnings from ongoing operations (non-GAAP) were $1.85 billion, or $2.40 per share, compared with 2019 ongoing earnings of $1.81 billion, or $2.45 per share.

"In the face of a global pandemic, PPL demonstrated its resilience, providing electricity and natural gas safely and reliably to first responders and more than 10 million customers, giving them one less thing to worry about in an uncertain world," said PPL President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Sorgi.

"As the pandemic necessitated changes to the way we work, we responded quickly and effectively, achieving award-winning customer satisfaction, completing more than $3 billion in infrastructure improvements, advancing our clean energy strategy, and supporting COVID-19 relief for individuals and families struggling in our communities.

"In addition, as COVID-19 forced lockdowns and business closures, we positioned PPL to weather the economic downturn and managed the financial impact, achieving our earnings guidance and delivering on our commitment to return capital to shareowners."

In achieving earnings from ongoing operations at the low end of the company's original 2020 earnings guidance of $2.40 to $2.60 per share, PPL overcame a $0.12-per-share unfavorable impact from COVID-19 due to lower sales volumes in the U.K. and lower commercial and industrial demand in Kentucky, as well as a $0.05 unfavorable impact due to milder than normal weather.

Looking forward, Sorgi said the company's long-term strategy is to achieve industry-leading performance in safety, reliability, customer satisfaction and operational efficiency; to advance a clean energy transition while maintaining affordability and reliability; to maintain a strong financial foundation and create long-term value for our shareowners; to foster a diverse and exceptional workplace; and to build strong communities.

In 2021, that includes completing the process to sell PPL's U.K. utility business and reposition the corporation as a U.S.-focused utility company, a move PPL believes will simplify its business mix, unlock shareowner value, strengthen its balance sheet, enhance long-term earnings growth and provide the company greater financial flexibility.

PPL said the formal process to sell the U.K. utility business remains on track. While there can be no assurance of any specific outcome, including whether it will result in the completion of any transaction, the company continues to expect to announce a transaction in the first half of 2021.

In addition to announcing year-end earnings results, PPL reported fourth-quarter 2020 earnings of $290 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with reported earnings of $364 million, or $0.48 per share, in 2019. Adjusting for special items, fourth-quarter 2020 earnings from ongoing operations were $456 million, or $0.59 per share, compared with $431 million, or $0.57 per share, in 2019.

The company also maintained its commitment to dividends as a key component of total shareowner return, announcing a quarterly common stock dividend of $0.4150 per share, payable April 1, 2021, to shareowners of record as of March 10, 2021. The dividend will mark the company's 301st consecutive quarterly dividend paid since 1946.

PPL's Kentucky Regulated segment primarily consists of the regulated electricity and natural gas operations of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and the regulated electricity operations of Kentucky Utilities Company.

Reported earnings in 2020 decreased by $0.05 per share compared with a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in 2020 decreased by $0.04 per share. Factors impacting 2020 Kentucky Regulated segment earnings results included $0.02 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, factors driving earnings results included lower commercial and industrial demand revenue due to the impact of COVID-19, lower sales volumes primarily due to weather, higher depreciation expense and higher income taxes due to a tax credit recognized in the second quarter of 2019, partially offset by higher retail rates effective May 1, 2019, and lower operation and maintenance expense.

Reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 increased by $0.01 per share compared with a year ago. Factors driving earnings results primarily included lower operation and maintenance expense partially offset by lower commercial and industrial demand revenue due to the impact of COVID-19.


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