Southern Energy CEO Exits After Banner Quarter
Southern Energy Inc. (SEI), one of Southern Co.'s main
subsidiaries, named S. Marce Fuller its new CEO last week. Under
the leadership of the former CEO, Tom Boren, SEI reported $69
million in second-quarter 1999 earnings, compared with $25 million
for the same period last year. Now it is up to Fuller to continue
"[Boren] brought Southern Energy along from its infancy to where
it is today, one of the world's largest independent power producers
with assets of nearly $14 billion. With Tom's aggressive guidance,
he helped make Southern Company an international energy company,"
said Bill Dahlberg, Southern Co. CEO.
Boren announced he was resigning recently in order to pursue
Fuller, 39, has been serving as executive vice president of
Southern Energy and president and CEO of Southern Company Energy
Marketing (SCEM), a joint venture of Southern Energy and Vastar
Resources. In her new role, Fuller will direct Southern Energy's
worldwide operations, which include electric power production,
delivery or trading facilities in the United States and abroad.
Overall, Southern Co. earned $314 million or 45 cents/share in
the second quarter of 1999, compared with $270 million or 39
cents/share for the comparable period a year earlier. Dahlberg said
SEI was the main cog in the parent company's success.
"Our strategy has been to expand our growth in the competitive
energy supply business, and Southern Energy continues to help us do
that successfully and profitably," Dahlberg said.
After adjusting for interest on inter-company debt, Southern
Energy reported $77 million in earnings, compared with $35 million
for the second quarter of 1998.
Meanwhile, at Fuller's old shop, SCEM, second quarter
electricity sales jumped 21% to 48.2 million MWh from last year's
second quarter. Natural gas sales, however declined by 8% to 4.3
SCEM attributed the decline in second-quarter gas sales to a
decline in market liquidity, along with expected temporary
interruptions in trading while merging its Houston trading floor
into its Atlanta trading floor. For the first half of the year,
however, the company is 12% ahead of the 1998 pace with 5.5 Bcf/d
of sales on average, compared to 4.9 Bcf/d in the first half of
Power sales rose 13% for the first half of the year to 91.5 MWh.
The company was the third largest seller of electricity in the
first quarter of 1999, selling over 41 million MWh. If SCEM
maintains this pace, it will be in line with its full year 1998
results of 185.1 million MWh, which earned second place for the
year behind Enron.
"Southern Energy's newly acquired electricity generation and the
output available to our energy traders had a direct impact on
electricity sales," Fuller said. "This is another sign that our
strategy to associate assets with our trading operation is