California Water Service Group Reports 67% Increase for Quarter

SAN JOSE, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) - California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) today reported first quarter 1999 operating results of $0.20 per share compared to $0.12 per share last year, a 67 percent increase for the quarter.

Net income was $2,532,000 compared to $1,590,000 in 1998 on revenue of $39,125,000 in 1999 versus $35,225,000 last year, an 11 percent increase in revenue.

Robert W. Foy, chairman of the board, said, "We were pleased with a return to relatively normal weather during this year's first quarter which resulted in increased customer water usage throughout our service territories. By comparison, weather during the first quarter last year was unfavorable and depressed sales and earnings."

Peter C. Nelson, president and chief executive officer, noted, "1999's first quarter marks the third consecutive quarter Cal Water has reported improved operating results and earnings."

Operating expenses increased 12 percent. Water production costs which are comprised of purchased water, purchased power and pump taxes increased 18 percent primarily due to water credits received in 1998 but not available this year. The impact of wholesale water rate increases in Southern California districts was offset by a wholesale water rate decrease for the San Francisco peninsula districts.

Other operation expenses increased primarily due to wage increases that were effective at the start of the year and increases in related benefits. Income taxes were higher due to greater taxable income.

Included in other income is appropriately $600,000 in pretax gain from certain land parcels sold as part of an ongoing real estate program.

At their meeting today, directors declared the regular common stock quarterly dividend of $0.27-1/8. The dividend is payable on May 15, 1999 to shareholders of record on May 1, 1999. The regular Series C preferred stock dividend was also declared.

The annual shareholders' meeting was held today. The meeting was adjourned until April 27, 1999 pending receipt of a majority of common shareholder votes in favor of the proxy proposal to reincorporate Group as a Delaware corporation.

Dominguez Services Corporation recently mailed a proxy statement to their shareholders describing the terms of the amended merger agreement between Cal Water and Dominguez. A special meeting is scheduled for May 12, 1999 at which Dominguez shareholders will vote upon a proposal to approve the merger agreement.

California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service Company and CWS Utility Services. California Water Service Company is the largest investor-owned water utility in California and fourth largest in the country. Since 1926, the Company has provided Californians with high-quality domestic water service. Its 21 operating districts serve approximately 1.5 million people in 59 California communities. CWS Utility Services provides nonregulated water related services. Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT".