CALGARY, July 28 /CNW/ - (TSX:FTS) FortisAlberta today announced 2005 second quarter earnings, which were higher than the same quarter last year. Earnings for the second quarter of 2005 were $9.8 million, compared to $0.7 million for the same quarter last year. "The higher earnings are primarily related to increased revenues due to the resolution of tax matters related to prior periods and lower operating costs resulting from resources being shifted to capital projects to satisfy increased customer demand for new facilities," says Philip Hughes, FortisAlberta's president and CEO. "This was partially offset by increased depreciation and amortization costs." "In 2005, we are focused on responding to customer growth in our service territory while improving customer service and operating efficiencies," adds Hughes. Total revenue for the quarter was $70.1 million compared to $55.8 million for the same period in 2004. This revenue increase is due to the resolution of tax-related matters resulting from prior periods, the cumulative effects of the 2.1 per cent rate increase approved by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board in Decision 2005-053 and load growth in residential and industrial customer classes. This was partially offset by estimated amounts required for the final settlement of billings related to previous years. FortisAlberta is an electric distribution company with approximately 407,000 customers. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc. - a diversified, international electric utility holding company with assets of approximately $4 billion and annual revenues of approximately $1.2 billion. The Common Shares, Series C First Preference Shares and Series E First Preference Shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols FTS, FTS.PR.C and FTS.PR.E, respectively. Fortis Inc. information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com. FortisAlberta may include forward-looking statements in this release. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on underlying assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such events include, but are not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions, regulatory developments, weather and competition. FortisAlberta cautions readers that should certain events or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. For additional information with respect to certain of these risks or factors, reference should be made to FortisAlberta's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities. FortisAlberta disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.