Feb. 10--Despite lower revenues for 2015, Otter Tail Corp. reported Monday that profit was up for the year.
Revenue decreased by 2.4 percent for 2105, but profits increased by 2.8 percent.
Otter Tail Corp. CEO Chuck MacFarlane attributed the increase in profits to strong performance in the corporation's electric and plastics segments and to a reduction in corporate costs, saying that the results were in line with 2015 expectations.
The energy company with corporate offices in Fergus Falls and Fargo reported $779.8 million in revenue in the 2015 fiscal year, down from $799.3 million in 2014. Profit rose to $59.3 million, or $1.58 per diluted share, from $57.7 million, or $1.57 per diluted share, the year before.
Otter Tail Corp. invested more than $300 million in utility investments in 2015 with work on the CapX2020 transmission lines and an air-quality control system being put into service at the Big Stone Plant.
"Big Stone Plant's upgrade to meet Environmental Protection Agency regional haze and mercury standards reached commercial operation Dec. 29, well ahead of its compliance deadlines," MacFarlane said.
The expected cost of that project was $490 million but ended up at $367 million. Otter Tail Power Co. has a 54 percent share of the Big Stone Plant.
The quarterly common stock dividend was increased to $.3125 -- a annual dividend rate of $1.25 -- by the the corporation's board of directors.
The corporation expects 2016 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to be in a range of $1.50 to $1.65.
"Otter Tail Power Co. will continue to grow during the next five years with $858 million in anticipated capital expenditures from 2016 through 2020," MacFarlane said. "This will result in a projected compounded annual growth rate of 8 percent in utility rate base, which is reflective of bonus depreciation."
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